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The Niagara River Lions led by 6 points with 57.6 seconds to go but a last-minute comeback by Windsor Express gave the home team a 112-109 win on Wednesday night in Windsor, ON.
After trading leads in the game’s first few minutes the River Lions went on a 9-0 run to give themselves a 14-7 lead at the midway point in the first quarter. The road team forced 4 Express turnovers in the first six minutes and did a good job capitalizing on Windsor’s mistakes.
The two teams traded runs for the remainder of the first quarter and Niagara finished the frame leading 21-20.
Windsor got out to a hot start in the second quarter retaking the lead early and led by as many as six points before the River Lions retook the lead 35-34 at the quarter’s six-minute mark.
After sharp three-point shooting by the River Lions near the end of the first half, Niagara went into halftime leading 52-49.
The River Lions were led by Sam Muldrow in the first half who hit four 3-pointers in the first two quarters. Muldrow’s season high mark of three 3-pointers made was obliterated Wednesday night as he finished the game with 19 points and went 5-9 from deep.
Niagara led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter and outscored the Express 58-49 in the game’s second and third quarters.
Despite holding a 78-70 lead going into the fourth quarter the Niagara River Lions weren’t able to get an important ‘W’ against a divisional opponent.
After Nick Okorie made a pair of free-throws with 57.6 seconds to go the River Lions led 108-102 and looked on their way to an important win on the road.
Windsor scored two points off a fast break to make it 108-104. Niagara then turned the ball over by sending it out of bounds on the inbound play with 47.9 seconds remaining.
Anthony Bennett of the Windsor Express hit a three-pointer with 42.1 seconds to go to cut the River Lions’ lead to one, 108-107.
After a missed bucket by the River Lions the Windsor Express scored another two points on their next possession and scored two more points before Niagara was able to respond.
The Windsor Express’ 10-0 run in the game’s final minute and the loss are tough pills to swallow for Niagara after the team played a solid 47 minutes.
The River Lions shot 47% from the field on Wednesday night and went an impressive 44% from three-point range.
The team had 21 assists and were led in scoring by Kirk Williams Jr who had 24 points and 8 rebounds.
Richard Amardi finished the game with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Scoop Jardine had 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
The River Lions return to the Lion’s Den on Friday April 7 when they take on the Cape Breton Highlanders at 7:00pm.
Niagara will then make their second and final trip to the east coast for three games against the Atlantic Division’s Island Storm, Halifax Hurricanes and Cape Breton Highlanders.