It may still be early in the season, but the Sudbury Five earned an important comeback win on Sunday over a divisional opponent, taking down the Windsor Express 111-104.
Jaylen Bland continued his stellar start to the 2019-20 season, leading all scorers on the afternoon with 43 points and he currently leads all NBL Canada players in scoring, averaging 25.8 points per game.
The Five were a little sluggish out of the block on home court Sunday afternoon, spotting the Express an 11-point lead after one quarter of play. The Sudbury crew couldn't close the gap in the second quarter, but were able to tread water and keep the deficit to 11 points heading into halftime, trailing 61-50.
Head coach Logan Stutz must have had some inspiring words for his team during the break, as the Five outscored the Express 34-18 in the third quarter, flipping the game script and taking an 84-79 lead into the fourth and final quarter.
The Five rode their lead to the finish line, playing a back and forth final quarter and outscoring the Express 27-25 in the fourth to hold on for a 111-104 victory to improve their record to 6-4.
With the loss, the Express fell to 5-4 and sit half a game back of the Five in the Central Division, with both teams trying to chase down the London Lightning who hold an impressive 8-2 record through 10 games.
Five guard Jaylen Bland was once again outstanding from beyond the arc on Sunday, firing home 11 three-pointers on 16 attempts for 33 of his 43 points. Braylon Rayson knocked down four triples of his own, while going a perfect nine for nine from the free throw stripe and chipping in six rebounds and five assists.
The Express were led by Shaquille Keith who scored 27 points while pulling down seven rebounds.
The Five have now won three straight games, all on the hardwood at the Sudbury Arena. Sudbury and the Express will renew acquaintances on Feb. 1 in Windsor during a mini raod trip where the Five will make a stop southwestern Ontario to take on the KW Titans on Feb. 2.
The team returns home to take on the Windsor Express once again on Feb. 6.
For more information and full schedule, visit thefive.ca.