Edmonton bounces back from 1st loss with balanced effort to overcome Guelph

Edmonton native Jordan Baker led a well-balanced attack of five players scoring in double figures, with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as the Edmonton Stingers closed out strong to take a 97-84 victory over the Guelph Nighthawks on Monday night in Guelph, Ont.

Following their first loss of the season, the Stingers (8-1) looked to get back on track against a lowly Guelph (2-6) team looking to capitalize on a seemingly increased level of confidence from an easy victory over the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Thursday.

Despite the confidence Guelph showed early, Edmonton was able to find a gear that the Nighthawks couldn’t when it mattered most. 

The first quarter was as tight as could be, with the largest lead being four points when Guelph led 18-14 at the 4:18 mark. Without Justin Jackson, who left to join the Orlando Magic for NBA Summer League, Ahmed Hill carried quite the load for the Nighthawks scoring 11 of his 25 points in the first quarter.

Starting out the second quarter tied at 27-27, Edmonton used a near six-minute 15-2 run to starting from the 8:18 mark to create a comfortable lead, eventually leading to a 49-40 lead at halftime. The Stingers were led by Brady Skeens who scored five of those 15 points and finished the half with 14 points.

In the third, Edmonton found themselves in another comfortable double-digit lead at 59-48, until the Nighthawks made a 10-0 run with a variety of players finding the bottom of the net.

Managing to push the lead to five again, Xavier Moon closed out the quarter with a three-pointer that was the start of another run, going into the fourth up 70-62.

That three led to an 8-0 run that provided Edmonton a plush 13-point lead. Although Guelph managed to find ways to claw back, the Stingers continuously found a way to bump the lead once it was cut to four points. Heading into the Elam Ending up 88-80, Edmonton kicked into a third gear not allowing Guelph to come any closer than seven points and ending the night on a Marlon Johnson corner three-pointer.

Xavier Moon chipped in 18 points for the Stingers, in addition to Brady Skeens 16 points, Mathieu Kamba’s 14 points and Adika Peter-McNeilly’s 14 points.

Along with Hill’s 25, Cat Barber added 17 points and Chad Brown picked up another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Nighthawks.

Guelph next faces the Saskatchewan Rattlers on Thursday, while Edmonton will next play the Fraser Valley Bandits on Sunday.

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