The Winnipeg Sea Bears (3-1) overcame a furious rally in Target Score Time by the Vancouver Bandits (1-3) to earn a 106-103 victory on Tuesday afternoon to defeat Vancouver for the second time in 10 days.
Four days after scoring 42 points against the Scarborough Shooting Stars, tying a CEBL single-game record, Winnipeg’s Teddy Allen once again led the way with a near triple-double.
“I was just trying to take what the defence was giving me,” Allen said after the game. “I would have liked to shoot a better percentage, but it is what it is, I’ll get better.”
Allen finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists. He shot 32 per cent from the field and 22 per cent from three.
But it was his ability to get to the free throw line late that helped Winnipeg escape Vancouver with their third win on the season.
Heading into target score, with the goal of reaching 106 points, the Sea Bears had built up a 97-81 lead—powered by a 32-point outburst in the second quarter.
However, led by nine points from Derek Brown Jr. off the bench in the fourth quarter, and a 30 point and 11 rebound performance by Giorgi Benzhanishvili, the Bandits went on a late surge with the game clock turned off.
“Overall, today, this was our best game offensively in terms of getting the shots that I like and the way that I like to play,” Bandits head coach Kyle Julius said. “The defence is a whole other story, we had very good stretches defensively, but offensively I was very pleased.”
Vancouver made 4 of their 16 threes on the afternoon in Target Score Time.
But following a Duane Notice free throw that made it 105-103 game, the University of South Carolina guard fouled Allen that gave Winnipeg two chances to seal the game.
Allen, though, was forced to the bench with an injury, and Jelani Watson-Gayle was selected to shoot the potential game-winning shot. Watson-Gayle, who scored 11 points in the first half but none in the second up to that point, calmly knocked down the first free throw to end the game.
“It was a hard-fought win, obviously we would have liked to been better in Elam [ending] but a win is a win,” Allen said.
Turnovers were a huge issue for the Bandits in the first half.
Vancouver turned the ball over 9 times in the first two quarters, leading to 14 Winnipeg points. The Sea Bears, meanwhile, gave up the ball only once in the first half.
Alongside Allen, forward EJ Anosike and timely three-point shooting from the bench helped Winnipeg on the afternoon. Anosike recorded 22 points and 4 rebounds, while Winnipeg used 38 bench points — highlighted by 7 three pointers — en route to victory.
Tyler Sagl, specifically, went 3/3 from beyond the arch, and AJ Hess also chipped in with 10 points and two threes.
“We played really well together, we played with a lot of positive energy, we got great contributions from the starting five and bench players,” Winnipeg head coach Michael Taylor said. “This league is like that, teams come back. We’ve seen it in all our games. Credit to the Bandits for fighting back.”
Taylor added that he was proud of his team to secure the win, but they will have to look for more efficient shots in target score to close out victories moving forward.
Diego Maffia, a University of Victoria guard who recorded a double-double in his first CEBL start on Saturday night, also performed well in his second straight start for Vancouver—scoring a season-high 20 points and 3 assists for the Bandits.
With the win, Winnipeg moves 2.5 games up on the Vancouver in the western conference standings. The Sea Bears have also taken the first two matchups against the Bandits on the year.
Winnipeg and Vancouver will play two more times in the regular season, with their next matchup scheduled for June 21.