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Scarborough Shooting Stars Look to Stay Undefeated as They Visit Ottawa BlackJacks

May 30, 2023 - Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) - Scarborough Shooting Stars News Release


The Scarborough Shooting Stars (+127) head to our nation's capital to take on the Ottawa BlackJacks (-182) on Tuesday night at TD Place Arena, 7:00 pm ET.

The game will be nationally televised live on TSN 5 as part of a double-header for TSN's CEBL Game(s) of the Week. The Niagara River Lions will take on the Calgary Surge after the conclusion of this contest, set to tip off at 9:00 pm ET/ 7:00 pm local. The games will also be available for streaming on TSN+, CEBL+ powered by BetVictor and on the CEBL Mobile app available on iOS and Android devices.

In their two regular season games last season, the Shooting Stars (1-0) and BlackJacks (1-1) split the series one a piece. The first went to Scarborough in a wire-to-wire victory 98-81. The second contest was far closer as Ottawa won 91-90 in what ended up being the second-largest Target Score Time comeback in CEBL history (14 points).

In that matchup, Ottawa was down double-digits for the majority of the game, going down as many as 16 points at one point. It was forward Tyrell Green who sparked the comeback, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the final frame, including the game-winning three.

What's changed in the matchup this year is Green no longer being on the BlackJacks roster. What hasn't changed is the team's tendency to fall behind early and having to fight their way back. In both their games this season, Ottawa have gone down by double-digits at one point or another and while barely holding onto leads.

The team's top scorer, Kadre Gray (24.5 points per game) recognizes the concerns around their play but is confident the BlackJacks have the pieces to figure things out.

"It's never a good thing to play from behind," said Gray following their 97-76 loss to the Montréal Alliance last Sunday. "I think we're learning from this, just making sure we have defensive intensity from the beginning...we just have to get better one game at a time, and we have faith in our roster."

"Adding some new guys and getting assimilated together, I think we're in a good spot."

Gray attributes their deficits to the team's lack of defensive consistency, but the problem goes beyond that. If the BlackJacks are going to win this game, they'll need strong scoring performances from names other than Gray or his backcourt partner Michael Flowers (21.5 points per game). Through two games the guards are accounting for an average of 53.8 per cent of Ottawa's scoring production (92 of 171 points).

Elijah Pemberton was likely going to be the tertiary scorer for the BlackJacks but after leaving their first game with injury, and missing the next, the guard's status remains unclear moving forward. Forward Zena Edosomwan, currently averaging 13.5 points and nine rebounds per game, will be looked at to take the responsibility of an increased offensive load.

Scarborough comes into this game on the heels of an impressive 80-78 win against the defending champion Brampton Honey Badgers. It was a rematch of last year's CEBL finals, and the Shooting Stars exacted a bit of revenge with the victory. If Scarborough is looking to continue their revenge tour, the team they probably want to beat next is the one that handed them a historic come-from-behind loss.

The Shooting Stars are going to enter this contest with a potent guard pairing of their own. Cat Barber looked impressive in the team's first game putting up 23 points, three rebounds and six assists. Jalen Harris also did his part by tallying 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

The tandem will be joined by forwards Kalif Young and Thomas Kennedy who looked impressive in their own way. Despite putting up a combined eight points, the two accounted for 23 of Scarborough's 46 rebounds. Their ability to clean the glass has the potential to cause trouble for an Ottawa team that often plays smaller with wing-centric forwards.

Full broadcast schedule of CEBL games on TSN can be found here. All games will also be streamed live internationally on the CEBL's OTT platform, CEBL+, and on the CEBL Mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Full list of betting props available on BetVictor.

A league created by Canadians for Canadians, the CEBL has the highest percentage of Canadian players of any professional league in the country, with 71 percent of its current rosters being Canadians. Players bring experience from the NBA, NBA G League, top international leagues, the Canadian National team program, and top NCAA programs as well as U SPORTS. The only First Division Professional League Partner of Canada Basketball. The CEBL season runs from May through August. Head to CEBL.ca for more information or follow us (@cebleague) on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook & YouTube.

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