St. John's, NL — The St. John's Edge evened up their best 3 of 5 series versus the Sudbury Five on Sunday afternoon, taking Game 2 by a score of 102-92.
It was a crucial game in the series as the Edge dropped game one on Friday night. They came into this one poised to even the series up and send it to Sudbury tied up at a game apiece.
Early in this one, the Edge looked energized and ready to play. Even with a few players dealing with nagging injuries, the Edge would be paced early by Glen 'Big Baby' Davis who got off to a quick start converting two layups to push the Edge ahead 6-0 early. The Five would get some quick offensive production from Maurice Jones Sr. who would head to the line and drain two of his free throws and follow it up with a deep triple in transition to keep this one within one point.
After the Five pulled to within three points, Glen Davis would convert an and-1 opportunity, then grab an offensive board in the paint for the putback, putting the Edge back in front by two possessions. As the quarter ended, Murphy Burnatowski would hit a three from the top of the circle to send it to the second with the Edge ahead 30-25.
Into the second, the Edge would extend their lead to 10, capped off by a Junior Cadougan layup in traffic. Sudbury would fight back and take the lead after Maurice Jones Sr. once again dropped two free throws and after a quick turnover by the Edge would drain the corner three over an Edge defender to make it 46-44 for the Five.
Sudbury would take advantage of some sloppy defence by the Edge and go on an 11-2 run late in the quarter. Murphy Burnatowksi would hit an incredible turn around three as the buzzer sounded to reduce the Edge deficit to single digits heading into the break, 60-53 Sudbury.
Coming out of the break, it would take a full team effort to battle through some tough Sudbury defence and pick up the win in this one. With Sudbury up by 3 with just over 7 minutes left, the Edge would swing the ball around and, on a give and go, Junior Cadougan would bury a triple to tie this one at 64.
At the 3:05 mark of the quarter, Glen Davis would pick up a technical foul after a questionable loose ball foul, he would then receive his second and be ejected from the game. Without Davis, the Edge would go with the smaller lineup and try and wear down the Five down the stretch. Shaquille Keith would be the one to step up for St. John's as he would score the teams final 6 points in the quarter to pull them within 2 points. Heading into the final quarter the Five would lead the Edge, 76-74.
The final quarter was as exciting as it has been at Mile One Centre all season. It began with Dez Lee draining a three from the corner to give the Edge their first lead since midway through the third quarter,
As the quarter wore on, the teams would exchange baskets until about the 7-minute mark of the fourth when Murphy Burnatowski missed his initial three-point attempt, but got his own rebound and made no doubt about the second shot putting the Edge in the driver's seat by a score of 89-84.
Moving to the final few minutes, it would be all Edge. The defence would force multiple stops, holding the Five scoreless for the final 2:41 of the game. Shaquille Keith would hit two more layups on route to the 102-92 win and tying the series up.
On the afternoon, the Edge would shoot an astounding 95.7% from the free throw line in the win. They were led by Junior Cadougan (17 points) and Murphy Burnatowski (16 points), while Shaquille Keith and Dez Lee had double-doubles, with Shaq dropping 14 points and grabbing 12 boards, while Lee had 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds of his own on route to the victory.
Sudbury were led by Jalen Bland who had a game-high 29 points in the loss.
The series is now tied up at 1 game apiece, with Game 3 set for Wednesday night in Sudbury. Fans can catch the game on www.nblclive.ca and follow along for the entire playoff season. If necessary, Game 5 will be back at Mile One Centre on Sunday, April 14th at 2:00 PM, get your tickets at the Mile One Centre box office, by calling 576-7657, or online at www.mileonecentre.com.