The London Lightning grabbed their third-straight victory on Wednesday thanks to a hard-fought 91-87 result against the Windsor Express.
While the Bolts started out the game with a sizable lead, the Express ended up challenging them at both ends of the court in a thrilling night at the WFCU Centre.
The Lightning came out of the gates flying — leading 36-20 after the first quarter. Ryan Anderson was on fire early — recording eight points in the first three minutes. Windsor managed to crawl back into the game in the following quarter, outscoring the NBLC’s top offense 21-13 in the second frame.
From there on in, both teams engaged in a tug-of-war to gain control of the game.
Windsor managed to limit the rampant ball movement they had seen from London in the second half, while utilizing effective nights from bigs DeAndre Thomas and Nick Evans to help space the floor. The combination allowed them to finally tie the game in the fourth quarter.
However, London showed grit on defence and through a series of individual performances on the offensive side. A turnover fast-break bucket by Junior Cadougan, a lunging put-back bucket by Tony Criswell, and back-to-back free throws from Julian Boyd all helped put the Bolts the driver’s seat heading into the final moments.
“It was a grind-out win,” Head Coach Kyle Julius said. “We didn’t play well, specifically in that second half, but we made a lot of key plays. I was proud of guys like Tony [Criswell] and Julian [Boyd] keeping their cool, getting subbed in and out, and then coming and making huge plays.”
Ryan Anderson led the Lightning and the game with 25 points on 6-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Royce White ended the game with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists.
“Our guys fought hard today. Windsor with DeAndre Thomas adds a certain level of confidence in their team, but our guys responded.” Ryan Anderson said after the game. “That’s how the game can be sometimes, you can’t control how many shots you take or how many go in, but you can control the focus that you have and the energy you bring.”
DeAndre Thomas led the Express with 17 points.
Garrett Williamson left the game with an injury in the second quarter and did not return.
The Bolts will be back in action next Saturday (Jan. 28) at home against the Niagara River Lions. Tickets are still available at budweisergardens.com.