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Edge use late push to sweep away Express

Jeff Parsons/St. John's Edge - Isaiah Tate of the St. John’s Edge pulls down a rebound in front of Windsor Express players Anthony Ottley (21) and Angelo Griffis (32) as Edge teammate Obinna Oleka calls for the ball during an NBL Canada game Sunday at Mile One Centre. The Edge took a pair of games off the Express over the weekend.
Jeff Parsons/St. John's Edge - Isaiah Tate of the St. John’s Edge pulls down a rebound in front of Windsor Express players Anthony Ottley (21) and Angelo Griffis (32) as Edge teammate Obinna Oleka calls for the ball during an NBL Canada game Sunday at Mile One Centre. The Edge took a pair of games off the Express over the weekend. - Contributed

Pair of wins snaps three-game losing streak, as team hits the road again

Glen Davis scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Sunday as the St. John’s Edge once again fashioned a fourth-quarter push to defeat the Windsor Express at Mile One Centre and solidify their hold on top spot in the National Basketball League of Canada’s Central Division.

The result gave St. John’s a sweep of Windsor in a short two-game Mile One homestand. The Edge had won 97-90 Friday in what was the first of three straight matchups with the Express. The two sides meet again Wednesday night in Windsor, Ont.

On Friday, St. John’s used a big fourth quarter to erase what had been an eight-point Windsor lead. It was bit different Sunday, as the teams were tied at halftime and the Edge were up by a single point after three quarters. Nevertheless, the final 12 minutes once more proved to be the key, with Diego Kapelan scoring 13 fourth-quarter points for the home side and Davis collecting 11 points and seven rebounds over the same period.

It helped nullify a gutsy effort by the Express, who were actually in front with five-and-half minites remaining in the game. But the undermanned visitors — they had just two players come off the bench Sunday — faded in the stretch.

Kapelan had 22 points in total, while Isaiah Tate (15), Junior Cadougan (11) and Olu Ashaolu (10) also scored in double figures for the winners, while Dez Lee registered 13 rebounds to go with nine points.

Cadougan dished out eight assists.

Windsor’s Chris Jones, who played a full 48 minutes, had a game-high 33 points, while Horace Wormely, who was on the floor for all but two minutes of the game, added 32 for the Express (15-14), who had entered the weekend with an opportunity to overtake the Edge atop the Atlantic.

As it is, St. John’s (17-11) is four points up on Windsor, with a game in hand.

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Forward Shaquille Keith, picked up in a trade with Windsor last week, made his St. John’s debut against his former team on Sunday, scoring eight points in 21 minutes of action.

The 25-year-old Toronto native, once a member of the Cape Breton Capers of the Atlantic universities conference, had played 115 games for Windsor over the last three seasons — starting nearly half of them — and averaged better than 13 points per contest in the playoffs.

The 6-6, 220-pound Keith began the 2018-19 season playing in Taiwan, but joined the Edge, who acquired his rights from the Express for cash considerations.

He was one of two players signed by the Edge last week. The other is a more familiar face: 6-7 forward Russell Byrd, whose rights were acquired earlier this month in a trade with the Island Storm.

Like Keith, Byrd is coming to St. John’s from Asia — he most recently played with a team in Qatar.

Byrd had played for the Edge last season, but signed as a free-agent with the Storm in the summer and averaged 18 points per game in 17 outings with the Charlottetown, P.E.I.-based team before leaving for overseas.

The Edge say that Byrd, a Michigan State product who turns 27 in two weeks, is scheduled to join the team for Wednesday’s game in Windsor.

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Guard Maurice Jones, who St. John’s sent to the Storm in the Byrd trade, is now with the Sudbury Five and was activated by that team Sunday. Jones never played for the Island club, who moved his rights to Sudbury in a deal last week.

And with Keith filling a Canadian slot for the Edge, the team released forward Brad States, who promptly signed on with Moncton Magic.

It’s a home-province signing as States is from Bathurst, N.B.

States had arrived in St. John’s in early January as the result of another trade with the Storm, with fellow Canadian Guillaume Boucard going the other way. But States didn’t play very much for the Edge, averaging just over 10 minutes of floor time and 1.5 points per game in 10 games with St. John’s.

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