(ST JOHN’S, NF) – The Windsor Express have kicked off the 2017-18 NBL Canada playoffs with a round 1 meeting against the St John’s Edge. The Express have dug themselves a hole by dropping the first two games on the Rock.
Entering game 3 on April 11, the Express squandered good performances in a double overtime loss, 123-120, last Friday night. Five Express players scored in the double digits, led by guard Maurice Jones with 30. Joining him were Shaquille Keith (27), Chad Frazier (24), and off the bench Logan Stutz (17) and Braylon Rayson (12).
Matching Jones was Charles Hinkle with 30 points for the victors, along with Carl English with 23.
The difference in the opening game was 4 more free-throws made by the Edge, going 29-for-33 from the penalty stripe, compared to Windsor’s 25-of-34. St John’s also moved the ball much better, accumulating 21 assists while the Express managed just 12.
Prior to the tip-off for game 2, the teams, officials, and fans held a minute of silence in honour of the 15 Humbolt Broncos who lost their lives in a collision in Saskatchewan, Saturday night.
Windsor didn’t fare much better in game 2 on Sunday. The Edge extended their best-of-five series lead to 2-0 with a 119-107 win at home. Jones, again, and Frazier led the losing effort with 19 points apiece, and Rayson and Stutz, with 17 and 16 points respectively, contributed from the bench.
English took the upper hand with a game-high 28 points and Coron Williams knocked down 26 as a substitute.
The Express again struggled from the line, hitting on just 17-of-25, but St John’s shot 56.7% from 3-point range, 17-for-30, which was three more than Windsor could muster, going 14-for-36.
Now behind the 8-ball, the Express needs to turn things to their advantage this Wednesday as the venue switches to Windsor. The 7pm tip is free for kids 13 or younger with a paying adult.
In the other central series, London made a statement in game 1 of their match up with the Niagara River Lions, 151-115, last Friday night. The Lightning moved to a 2-0 series lead with a 124-98 win the following night. The teams will move to St Catharines for game 3 on Tuesday.
In the east, the Island Storm and Halifax are tied at 1 game apiece while Moncton survived a defensive battle with Saint John, 82-77, in the Battle of New Brunswick. The Magic enjoy a 1-0 series lead over the Riptide.