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St. John's Edge keep on keeping it close

St. John's Edge guard Alex Johnson (right) drives to the net against Maurice Jones (11) of the Windsor Express during National Basketball League of Canada play in Windsor, Ont., Monday afternoon. Johnson had 17 points, six of them coming in the last four minutes of the game, and added 10 assists as the Edge won 112-108. — Windsor Express photo via St. John's Edge
St. John's Edge guard Alex Johnson (right) drives to the net against Maurice Jones (11) of the Windsor Express during National Basketball League of Canada play in Windsor, Ont., Monday afternoon. Johnson had 17 points, six of them coming in the last four minutes of the game, and added 10 assists as the Edge won 112-108. — Windsor Express photo via St. John's Edge

Team rallies to beat Windsor 112-108; it’s the team’s ninth win by four points or less

Updated with late transactions by the Edge

St. John’s Edge head coach Jeff Dunlap doesn’t appear to be a nail-biter.

Good thing.

The Edge won their 18th game of the season Monday afternoon, and as they have so many times in their first National Basketball League of Canada season, they took it down to the wire.

St. John’s rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit by registering 43 points in the third quarter — their highest-scoring quarter to date — and hung on to defeat the Windsor Express 112-108 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont.

Actually, the Edge (18-10) had to have a little rally of their own to come away with the victory. The Express (13-14) went ahead by two points with just under four minutes left in the game and to make matters worse for the visitors, that happened shortly after St. John’s leading scorer Carl English had fouled out of the contest. But Wally Ellenson immediately hit a three-pointer to put the Edge back in front to stay, even if they never had any room to relax. For example, Omar Strong of the Express missed a three-point shot with 13 seconds left that would have tied the score.

Not that the Edge haven’t had any experience in close calls; of St. John’s 18 wins so far this season, nine — or half of them — have been by four points or less. That includes a 107-104 win over the Nigara River Lions Saturday night in St. Catharines, Ont.

Despite fouling out, English topped the Edge with 26 points, nine of them coming during the St. John’s score-feast that was the third quarter, which saw Dunlap go almost exclusively with his starting lineup of English, Charles Hinkle, Alex Johnson, Ryan Reid and Desmond Lee — with the boxscore showing English and Johnson playing every second of the frame.

Both Hinkle, who had 23 points, and Johnson, who added 17, finished with double-doubles; Hinkle had a game-high 11 rebounds and Johnson topped all players in the contest with 10 assists.

Reid (16 points), Lee (11) and Russell Byrd (10 off the bench) completed the half-dozen St. John’s players scoring in double figures.

Logan Stutz had 26 points and nine rebounds for Windsor, with Maurice Jones contributing 19 points for the home team.

The daytime game — it was the Family Day holiday in Ontario — was played before 1,220.

Through three games of what will be a four-game road trip, the Edge have two wins. They’ll look to make it three when they finish up their latest southern Ontario swing Wednesday night in Kitchener, where they’ll face the KW Titans.

Notes

The previous high score in a quarter for St. John’s this season was 40 points, done twice by the team … The NBL Canada deadline for all trades and transactions was midnight Monday (ET) and the Edge made a couple of late moves to add forwards, acquiring Anthony Stover, a UCLA product, from Niagara for future considerations and signing Xavier Ford, a former teammate of St. John's guard Jarryn Skeete at the University of Buffalo. Ford had been playing overseas in Europe. Both have been placed on the Edge's inactive list for the time being ...

brendan.mccarthy@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telybrendan

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