OUA West: Late heroics lead Windsor to dramatic win at Waterloo

Windsor 97, Waterloo 95… In a dramatic finish, Warriors 6’1″ Simon Petrov missed a wide-open lay-up as time expired in the fourth, allowing the Lancers to escape with a critical road win at Waterloo, breaking Warriors four-game winning streak.  Petrov was brilliant all night for Waterloo, finishing with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists but Warriors blew a double digit lead as 5’10” Mike Rocca, silent for much of the night, keyed a comeback with some strips defensively and clever finds in transition.  Windsor trailed by as many as 14 midway through the third quarter and trailed by 8 midway through the fourth when Rocca (7 points, 8 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals; just 3-15 from the field) started a 13-0 Lancers run with an “and 1″ and suddenly Windsor led by two late.  Later, Waterloo tied the game on a dunk by 6’6” Nedim Hodzic who starred with 37 points and 13 rebounds.  But on the ensuing possession, Rocca stripped Hodzic in the high post and later fed 6’3″ Marcus Lewis for a pick-and-pop three from the right wing to give Lancers the lead for good.  Rocca later got to the rim, stopped and faked his way into an “and 1″ to give Windsor a three-point lead, missing the ensuing free throw but grabbing his own rebound and feeding 6’3” Marcus Jones (21 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) for a three to stake Windsor to a 97-91 lead with just under two minutes to play.  Windsor would not score the rest of the way as Hodzic would score 4 straight and Waterloo made three consecutive stops, setting up a scrambly final 6 seconds that saw Petrov drive all the way to the rim but was heavy on an open lay-up, visibly showing his frustration in this emotionally-charged game by pulling his jersey over his head after the game had ended – an unfortunate ending for this rapidly-developing point guard with a bright future.  The game was delayed for over an hour to allow the Lancers to arrive in Waterloo after inclement weather forced the closure of a stretch of the 401 between Windsor and Kitchener but the game had plenty of fireworks and twists and turns to thoroughly entertain the sparse crowd.  6’0″ reserve guard Chris Poloniato had a career-high 21 points for Windsor, all in the first three quarters, almost single-handidly keeping the listless-starting Lancers in the game early on 4-5 threes.  6’7″ Anthony Zrvnar came alive in the second half with 13 of his 16 points while 6’3″ Lucas Orlita made several big second half shots, finishing with 17 points for Windsor, which broke a three-game losing streak in advance of tonight’s game at Guelph.

In other OUA West games, Western pushed above .500 and maintained their grip on second place in the division – and the first-round playoff bye that comes with that potential finish – with a come-from-behind 84-75 victory over Lakehead as 6’4″ Marko Kovac had a Mustangs-career-high 26 points.  Brock pounded Algoma 79-46 behind 26 points and 11 rebounds from 6’7″ Dani Elgadi, moving closer to clinching the OUA West regular season pennant.


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