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River Lions win 109-98 against the Windsor Express to improve to 3-2 at home
Written by: Zach Dadson
The Niagara River Lions (4-9) put an end to their four game losing streak, when they beat the Windsor Express 109-98 on Thursday, January 28. With the win, the River Lions move to 3-2 at home.
It was an important win for the River Lions who had Sammy Zeglinski (injury) and Billy Rush (personal) out of the lineup. “It’s huge because it shows A) that we have some depth which I think is very key and B) it’s showing how resilient we can be and how good the potential of this team is,” Coach Ken Murray said after the game.
“We lost a heart breaker in their place. We had a chance to win that one too, so it was nice to finally just flip it for a change. To hold them under 100 points, which is very difficult to do in this league, and to be able to look comfortable out there at times, I think that was huge for us,” Coach Murray continued.
Clinton Springer-Williams had an incredible night starting for the River Lions setting a franchise record with 10 three-pointers (10-12 3PT) on his way to scoring 38 point, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Mike Allison (14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and Greg Carter (4 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists) had strong performances off the bench for the River Lions showing that the bench unit can contribute to the team’s successful play on the floor.
“That’s huge because Greg gives us another guard so that gives us somebody we can spell Sammy or Blaze (Adam Blazek) with and Mike just has the ability to change shots. He only had two blocked shots but he must have changed five or six shots plus his ability to rebound. Percentage wise he’s shooting the ball well, he’s shooting the ball well from the free throw line, he’s just being very consistent for us. Having that third guy to throw in with Da’Quan and Logan, it gives us a much deeper team and it gives us a much stronger team,” said Coach Murray.
Allison was humble when talking about his recent string of strong performances. “Basically I’m not taking shots that I think have any chance of missing and really I’m just not creating my won shot, I’m just getting passes from my teammates. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me when I do make a cut or when I get an offensive rebound or something it’s all off of my teammates stuff so it’s not on me, it’s on them.”
The River Lions did an excellent job of creating offense off good ball movement on Thursday night and looked comfortable on their home court after a weekend on the road. “We’re getting a lot more comfortable. Today was really good, we had a lot of assists and I think that’s important. The other games I don’t think we had that many and ball movement is very important to winning,” Clinton Springer Williams reported after Thursday’s win.
Logan Stutz was back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s game in Windsor and looked comfortable at home scoring 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
Adam Blazek (18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists) started at point guard Thursday night in place of injured Sammy Zeglinski and did an excellent job of putting his teammates in position to succeed.
Da’Quan Cook scored 7 points, collected 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists Thursday night and Marcus Lewis scored 7 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist to round out a strong night from the starting lineup.
The Niagara River Lions won’t have too long to celebrate Thursday night’s win over the two-time defending National Basketball League of Canada champions as they take on the London Lightning (9-2) on Friday night at the Meridian Centre. The Niagara River Lions can stake claim to one of the Lightning’s only two losses this season and will look to start the franchise’s first winning streak when they tip-off at 7pm.