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Magic dazzle Express 123-105

Released: January 12, 2018

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(WINDSOR, ON) – The Windsor Express welcomed the Moncton Magic to the WFCU Arena for last night’s NBLC matchup. Fresh from a 2-2 road trip to the east coast, the Express looked jet lagged as the Magic poured on the long ball for a 123-105 victory.

Early on, neither team could shake off the suddenly tundra-like weather. Poor passing, dog-like dribbling, and sorry shooting highlighted the first six minutes of the opening quarter. The Magic, however, slowly crept into the lead, keeping the home crowd out of the game for the most part.

By the end of the first 12 minutes, Moncton had quietly established a 28-16 margin over the Express. Windsor’s lone bright spot on 35% shooting from the floor was an Anthony Ottley Jr kick-out to Maurice Jones for a trey.

The 2nd quarter was much like the 1st. Express head coach Bill Jones attempted a number of player combinations on the floor, but to no advantage. Moncton was given a copious number of free looks from the arc and moved to 47 points with 4:30 left on the clock. By comparison, Windsor had managed to drop just 29.

At the end of the half, Windsor had dug themselves a 22-point hole and retired to the dressing room to sort out the issues. It was no surprise Moncton was ahead 62-40 after out shooting Windsor with 50 per cent on the game while the Express trailed at 33 per cent.

Chad Frazier was the leading star for the Express in the 1st half. The young forward out of UAB was 3-for-7 from the floor and 9-of 12 at the penalty stripe for 15 points. The incoming big man, Damontre Harris, knocked down 2 blocks and grabbed a further 6 rebounds in a defensive role.

The Express were the first back on the court after the break.

In as much time as it takes to talk about a training program, the Express went on a 15-6 run to start the 2nd half. Things were looking up until Moncton got their feet back under them and returned to the long ball. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the Magic were knocking on the door with 99 points while the Express dropped off the pace at 74.

The deficit was just too steep to overcome. Windsor went on another run to start the final quarter, 19-12, but it was too little too late. The fans were kept in the game when Logan Stutz hit for two from downtown to close the  gap to 18. Another trey from Braylon Rayson brought a loud cheer from the audience.

Moncton ran a minute off the clock and then dropped a triple of their own. A lapse on defense and bad rebounding allowed the Magic to capitalize on some 2nd chance points as the clock wound down.

The Express have a week to get back to basics before hosting the St John’s Edge on January 20 at 7pm. In their last two meetings on the coast, the teams split a win each, but not without some controversy.

After the January 9 contest, a 111-103 victory for Windsor, the Edge’s Carl English had some harsh words for the league’s referees. English had been assessed two technical fouls and an ejection by the officiating crew of Craig Parsons, Fred Wakeham, Ryan Langdon.

Post game, English described the officiating as “horrendous” and was quoted in the St John’s Telegram as saying, “If you can’t ref at this pace, you have to tell this league that you can’t ref at this pace. I don’t want to be on the record and calling people out, but if you’re not competent enough to ref a game like this, then say you can’t take the job.”

The league responded by fining English, though the amount was not disclosed. As well, beginning in February, the NBLC will fly referees into The Rock for Edge games; a plan that has been in the works for a while.

“Carl’s comments had zero connection to the decision (to fly in referees),” NBLC Deputy Commissioner Audley Stephenson told The Square.”We’ve known since the beginning of the season that we’d need more officials in St John’s because of the limited pool that’s there to begin with.”



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