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Sea Bears look to clinch top spot in west in date with Stingers

Julian Roche Winnipeg Sea Bears Julian Roche - CEBL

The Winnipeg Sea Bears (12-7) (-154) will look to punch their ticket to the western conference quarterfinals in a matchup against the Edmonton Stingers (8-11) (+113) at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 local at the Canada Life Centre. 

The game will also be available for streaming on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor, and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

The Calgary Surge eliminated the Saskatchewan Rattlers from playoff contention with a 92-89 victory last night, and guaranteed the Stingers a spot in the west’s play-in game next week. 

The victory also moved the Surge to within one half game of Winnipeg for first place in the western conference. And if the Sea Bears fall tonight, Calgary will vault past Winnipeg into top spot and avoid the play-in round all together. 

Winnipeg, however, can remain in first place with a win, and set themselves up with a chance to win one home game next week to advance to Championship Weekend in Vancouver. 

The Stingers come into tonight’s game riding a two-game losing streak, and have lost four out of their past five contests. Although the Surge held Edmonton to a season-low 67 points on Wednesday, the Stingers had four starters record double figures. 

Nick Hornsby had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Brody Clarke scored a team-high 17 points. 

The Stingers also forced 28 Calgary turnovers and recorded 13 steals. Hornsby, who sits in the top 10 in the league in steals per game, specifically, got credit for five of those steals. Edmonton ranks second in the CEBL in steals per game (8.6). 

Winnipeg, meanwhile, responded from a 14-point loss to the Surge on July 20 with a 90-79 victory over the Vancouver Bandits last Sunday. 

Teddy Allen played all 40 minutes in the win and scored a game-high 32 points and collected 12 rebounds in another double-double performance. Allen is averaging 26.9 points per game, ranking him as the second highest scorer in the CEBL—less than three points behind Saskatchewan’s Justin Wright-Foreman. 

Winnipeg’s AJ Hess has found a groove on offence for the Sea Bears in the month of July. 

The Phoenix, Arizona native scored a season-high 18 points and five three pointers against Vancouver, and has scored more than double figures in four games this month. Hess is putting up eight points and a little under two three pointers this season. 

These two teams have split their first two meetings against one another this season. 

Edmonton gave Winnipeg their worst loss of the season back in June—a 29-point loss at the Canada Life Centre. Teddy Allen scored 27 points in a losing effort, but Edmonton held the remaining Sea Bears starters to just 18 combined points. 

The Sea Bears came back and defeated the Stingers 99-95 on the road in July. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jelani Watson-Gayle led all Winnipeg scorers with 22 points off the bench, and U SPORTS rookie Simon Hildebrandt chipped in with five three pointers off the bench as well. 

Edmonton will look to win the rebound battle—as they did in their first meeting of the season against Winnipeg—in order to flip the script from their last meeting.

The Sea Bears are second in the CEBL in rebounds per game (42.7) and leading the league in offensive boards (14.3). In the June loss to Edmonton, however, the Stingers won the rebound battle 40-38 and scored more second chance points. 

Edmonton can finish no higher than third place in the west and will visit either Winnipeg or Calgary for the play-in match next week. 

The CEBL playoffs are slated to begin on August 3.