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Vancouver Bandits win third straight

First place in Western Conference standings
A layup from Koby McEwen at the 6:06 mark broke the Bandits’ scoring drought against Calgary Surge Friday night, June 7. Vancouver won the away game 70-65.

Vancouver Bandits made it three wins in a row with a 70-65 road trip victory over Calgary Surge Friday night, June 7 that kept them at the top of Western Conference standings.

Curtis Hollis who signed with Vancouver earlier in the day,  recorded 21 points (9-13 FG, 3-4 3PT), six rebounds and five steals in the win.

“It was amazing. I’ve been trying to get into this league for a few years now, so I was looking forward to the opportunity,” the Arlington, Tex., native said postgame. “I got to show what I could do.”

Hollis was a welcome addition for the Bandits who were without standout guard Tazé Moore. Moore was away from the team for tonight’s contest after earning NBA off-season workouts with Milwaukee, Atlanta and Portland. 

Calgary held Vancouver scoreless on the first seven possessions, until a layup from Koby McEwen at the 6:06 mark broke the Bandits’ scoring drought.

The Bandits eventually found their rhythm thanks to Hollis who scored 11 of Vancouver’s first 18 points, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field (including three three-point field goals).

“It’s a testament to the season I just had. I played really well so I’m kind of used to coming in and scoring and doing what I have to do for the team,” said Hollis. “It was my teammates finding me in the right spots and I was just making shots.”

The contest was a back-and-forth affair consisting of 10 lead changes in the first two quarters but the Bandits held a 33-32 halftime advantage in this defensive battle.

“I thought it was a rough first half for us, but defensively we were really good,” said Bandits head coach Kyle Julius. “(At halftime) we just talked about continuing to focus on defence.”

Vancouver opened the second half on a 12-0 run led by strong post play from Nick Ward. The 6-foot-9 forward scored eight of Vancouver’s first 12 points in the third quarter as the Bandits opened up a 13-point lead, their largest of the game.

Ward finished with 13 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. He was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for leaving the bench during an on-court altercation.

Vancouver’s next home game at LEC is on Thursday, June 13 when the Bandits welcome the  Winnipeg Sea Bears for a 7:30 p.m.