(BELLE RIVER, ON) – There was still some life left in the KW Titans when they met the Windsor Express for game 2, of their best-of-five play off series, at the Atlas Tube Centre in Belle River, Sunday afternoon. However, after an overtime period, the hometown Express emerged with a 4-point victory and 2-0 lead in the first round of the NBL Canada playoffs.
Windsor burst from the gate with an outpouring of 40 points to sprint to a 15-point lead after 12 minutes. They added three more to the lead by half time and sat comfortably with 66-48 margin. Too comfortably it would seem.
Kitchener-Waterloo dropped 33 points in the 3rd period and slashed 12 points from Windsor’s lead. In the 4th the Titans did away with the rest of the deficit when Isiah Umipig tied the game at 107 with just under 2 minutes to play.
After Maurice Jones split on a pair of free throws, Cavell Johnson knocked down a trey to put the Titans ahead by 2. The teams traded baskets until Jones dropped 2 from the paint to draw Windsor even with Kitchener.
Johnson and Juan Pattillo each missed putting their respective teams ahead and an attempted three by Jason Calliste at the buzzer also fell short, forcing overtime.
Flenard Whitfield struck first in the extra frame for KW, on one from the field and one from the line. Logan Stutz then duplicated the effort for Windsor to again tie the game at 115. The teams were again neck-and-neck at 117 and then at 119.
Windsor then went on a 7-point run which proved to be the undoing of the Titans. Each time they attempted to mount a comeback, the Express remained just out of reach. A final free throw by Tony Bennett, with 5 seconds on the clock, established the final score of 132-128.
Express head coach Bill Jones opted to play a nine-player bench compared to Kitchener’s 11 available men. Other than the Express collapse, the difference between the teams on the night was Windsor outscoring KW 29-13 on turnovers. The Titans were giants when giving the ball up 24 times while Windsor had just 17 of their own.
Darren Duncan had a game-high 29 points in the eventual Windsor win. He also added 9 helpers, a steal, and even had a block.
Jones put up 24 points for the Express and Pattillo registered 18 plus 11 boards. Stutz (17), Shaquille Keith (11), and Bennett (11) rounded out the double digit scoring for Windsor.
The series now reverts to Kitchener for game 3 on May 10 at 7:00pm. If necessary, a fourth match is scheduled for May 12 in Kitchener before returning to Windsor on May 14 for a series deciding game.