(St. John’s, NL) After a slim victory Friday night on the East Coast, the Five returned to St. John’s for Game 2 of the best-of-five, first round series against the Edge Sunday afternoon.
The Edge grabbed the early lead in the first, capturing the energy of the over 3,000 Newfoundlanders in attendance. The Edge continued to drive the ball to the inside, favouring the size and skill of NBA Champion Glen Davis. The former Boston Celtic had 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in the first to help lead the Edge to an early five-point lead. Maurice Jones Sr. and Jaylen Bland were a two-headed monster for the Five, scoring 20 of the team’s 25 first quarter points. After the first, the Five were down five, 30-25.
After a quiet start to the game, the Five offense came alive in the second quarter. Fueled by 14 points from the freshly named NBL Canada Newcomer of the Year Jaylen Bland, the Five offense erupted for 35 points in the second quarter. Maurice Jones Sr. continued his strong game with seven points in the second. Responsible defense helped the Five limit the Edge to 23 points in the second, limiting the Edge to only one trip to the foul line in the second quarter. Heading into the half time break, the Five were up seven, 60-53.
After erupting like a volcano in the second, the pour of the Five offense slowed in the third. Shooting just 13.0% from the field, the league’s best offense in the regular season scored just 16 points in the third, allowing the Edge to claw back to within 2 points. Maurice Jones Sr. had another strong quarter, chipping in 7 of the team’s 16 points, also adding in two steals. Junior Cadougan, the recipient of the NBL Canada’s Most Improved Player this season, lead the offense for the Edge with 7 points. After three quarters, the Five held the slim 76-74 lead.
The Five offense continued its slow pour into the final frame. Shooting 35% from the field, and failing to convert a single three-pointer, the Five offense struggled allowing the Edge to command the final frame. With just over a minute to play in the game, the Five were down just two points. After a Shaquille Keith lay-up and a Des Lee pair of free throws extended the lead to six, the Edge never looked back, taking the lead and the game, 102-92.
The series now travels to Sudbury for Game 3 Wednesday evening at the Sudbury Community Arena. Game time is 7:05 PM. Tickets for the game can be purchased online at www.greatersudbury.ca/ticketsor in person at the Sudbury Community Arena.