Stef Smith’s 14 points in the fourth quarter fueled the Calgary Surge to an 86-79 bounceback win over the Ottawa BlackJacks on Friday night (June 9) at WinSport Event Centre.

Smith scored the majority of his 19 points in the final frame and finished the contest 7-9 from the floor and 5-7 from long range.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Smith said after the game. “I’ve been struggling with my outside shot a little bit but my teammates trust me. I’ll just keep putting them up.”

Simi Shittu also netted 19 points for the Surge, while grabbing 8 rebounds and fading away to hit the game winner. Trevon Scott added 13 points for Calgary while Sean Miller-Moore stuffed the stat sheet with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks.

“I think it really started and ended with our defence,” Calgary head coach Nelson Terroba said. “The defence was amazing tonight. They have a great shooting team and we were just impacting shooters all night long.”

Ottawa’s Kadre Gray continued to score at a high level on Friday with 21 points on 7-14 shooting but had more problems as a passer than in previous games. Gray entered the game as the league’s assist leader at 8.8 per game but had just 5 assists and 6 turnovers in the loss. Michael Flowers contributed 17 points on 6-17 shooting for the BlackJacks, while James Jean-Marie chipped in with 10 points off the bench.

Calgary connected on 43 per cent of their threes in the victory and shot 50 per cent overall. The Surge finished the game with 24 dimes and assisted on 72 per cent of their field goals. Calgary also dominated in the paint, outscoring Ottawa 46-26 and shooting 20 per cent better on two-pointers.

“They ended up shooting 50-40-80 after an offensive struggle up until now. They got it going in the second half and that ended up being the difference,” Ottawa head coach James Derouin said. “We were trading baskets, but we couldn't get stops when we needed them.”

The BlackJacks opened the game on a 9-2 run in which Gray scored their first six points. Miller-Moore set the tone defensively for Calgary with two big blocks early in the first quarter. The Surge made it a one possession game late in the quarter but a corner three from Maxime Boursiquot extended the Ottawa lead to 21-15 after 10 minutes.

Calgary scored five quick points to start the second quarter and cut the deficit to one point. Ottawa answered but back-to-back buckets from Miller-Moore off a smothered floater and spectacular catch-and-finish forced a Derouin timeout. The BlackJacks were able to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the half in a defensive battle. Ottawa carried a 34-32 lead into the locker room.

Both teams played as advertised in the first half. Calgary grinded defensively, protected the rim and created turnovers. The Surge shot 40 per cent from the field, but were much more effective inside the arc than beyond. They shot 58 per cent on twos and 15 per cent on threes. Meanwhile, Ottawa achieved the opposite – they shot 41 per cent from the field, 36 per cent from two and 56 per cent from three.

Shittu hammered home a game-tying dunk to start the second half for Calgary and found Scott in the corner for a three on the next possession to give the Surge their first lead of the game .The lead changed three more times in the quarter before the Surge went on a run to pick up a nine-point lead. However, Flowers was fouled on a three to close the quarter and cut the deficit to 60-54 heading into the final frame.

Smith caught fire in the fourth for Calgary. The guard hit a circus three falling to his left, another triple from the same spot and euro-stepped to the bucket to extend the Calgary lead to 10. However, a pair of clutch field goals from Gray cut the deficit to 77-70 heading into target score time.

Gray and Smith traded triples to start target time, but Smith continued to impact the game. He took a charge on Gray before an ankle-breaking step back three put Calgary one field goal away from victory. Shittu spun to the middle and drained a fadeaway to win the game.

Calgary now improves to 4-1 on the season, while Ottawa falls to 3-2.