A game-winning three-pointer by Duane Notice gave the Vancouver Bandits (7-12) a 90-89 upset victory over the Ottawa BlackJacks (12-8) on Thursday night at TD Place.
In a game that featured over 20 lead changes, the Bandits found themselves trailing by four points late in target score time. The BlackJacks were one point away from snapping a two-game losing streak, however, after Doug Herring Jr. cut the lead to two, the New York product getting to the free throw line on Vancouver’s next offensive possession.
With the score at 89-87 and a chance to complete a three-point play, Herring Jr. missed the free throw but collected his own rebound and found Notice at the top of the three-point line. Notice then knocked down the shot to stun the BlackJacks.
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“Honestly, I was prepared for it,” Notice said. “It sounds crazy, but we do a drill in practice where we work on getting offensive rebounds from free throws. In that situation, coach Kyle Julius mentioned it and I was just being ready.”
“Duane hit a huge shot,” teammate Nick Ward said after the game. “I can’t forget about my brother Duane Notice. It was a huge win.”
Ward finished with a team-high 25 points. His front court mate Giorgi Bezhanishvili secured a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, as Vancouver’s big men combined to give Ottawa fits all night.
Vancouver, who is leading the league in rebounds per game, had a 44-40 edge on the glass and hauled in 14 offensive boards as a team.
“I love this group. I’ve said they practice like they’re in first place all year. They’re great fighters,” Vancouver head coach Kyle Julius said. “That was a good effort by us tonight, for sure.”
With the victory, Vancouver earned its third road victory of the year and got some momentum heading into Championship Weekend at Langley Events Centre August 9-13. The Bandits will close out the regular season Sunday on the road in Scarborough.
Bandits will be back home at Langley Events Centre on Friday, August 11, having qualified for Championship Weekend as the host team. Vancouver will be playing in the Western Conference Final, which will see which team advances to the Championship game that will be played on Sunday, August 13.
Single game playoff tickets for Championship Weekend are available for purchase at this link.
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