The Alliance picked up its second consecutive victory behind a late push in the Elam Ending, besting the Ottawa BlackJacks 86-80 on Tuesday at home in Montreal.
Coming off its first win against the Scarborough Shooting Stars, a fellow expansion team, Montreal (2-1) was tested late but managed to close out the contest.
After leading for much of the first half, the Alliance surrendered its seven-point halftime lead as the BlackJacks worked their way back into the matchup, tying the score at 59 ahead of the final frame.
Up 77-74 by the start of the Elam Ending, Montreal proceeded to go on a 7-2 run led by Hernst Laroche, who scored the first five of those points.
Missed free throws from Walt Lemon Jr. and Chad Posthumus kept Ottawa from cutting its eight-point deficit down to four instead of six. After a pair of free throws from Deng Adel trimmed Montreal’s lead to 84-80, the BlackJacks failed to narrow it further.
Laroche canned two more free throws to close out the game for Montreal.
Lemon Jr. led Ottawa with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Posthumus recorded 12 points and 17 rebounds, while Adel added 19.
Montreal will next play the Niagara River Lions on Friday, while Ottawa will take on the Shooting Stars on Thursday. Both games will be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
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River Lions beat Nighthawks for 2nd win in a row
Led by Khalil Ahmed’s 33-point night, the Niagara River Lions handed the Nighthawks their first loss of the season in a 95-84 slugfest on Tuesday in Guelph.
Fueled by a big third quarter following a five-point halftime lead, the River Lions kept the Nighthawks from cutting the deficit to any less than four points as they held multiple double-digit leads in the final frame.
Down 86-78, Guelph (1-1) could not make enough stops defensively to limit a balanced scoring effort from Niagara (2-1), as the River Lions had four different players tally points during the Elam ending. Ahmed converted the game-sealing three pointer.
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The Nighthawks were led by Cat Barber, who scored 29 points, including six of the team’s final eight, with Canadian standout AJ Lawson and Ahmed Hill contributing 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Jaylen Babb-Harrison (14 points) and Alonzo Walker (13) pitched in for the River Lions, who also received a collective 29-point effort from the bench.
Niagara then opened the third on a 13-6 run to take a 12-point lead — the largest of the game at that point. The River Lions continued to build on their momentum from there, outscoring the Nighthawks 24-11 in the remainder of the quarter to go up 71-58.
A 9-0 run to open the final frame gave Guelph a glimmer of hope, only being down four, but that was quickly dashed as Niagara maintained and later increased its lead to pick up its second consecutive win.
Guelph will next play the Hamilton Honey Badgers on Thursday, which will be streamed on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.
WATCH | CEBL on CBC: Guelph vs Niagara: