A new era of professional basketball began tonight as the Saint John Riptide took to the floor in front of their home fans for the first time.
Saint John started off on the right foot as they controlled the game for most of the first quarter despite some sloppy fouls. Gabe Freeman put nearly double-digit points on the board in the first frame to give us a 32-22 lead at the break.
The two-time NBL Canada champion and former league MVP continue his hot pace in the second quarter while also pulling down rebounds with ease thanks to his strong work ethic. His partner in crime Anthony Anderson joined the fun as well posting 11 first half points while Freeman finished had 15 points and 11 rebounds at halftime as the Riptide took a 13-point advantage into halftime, 57-42.
In the third quarter the Storm would trim the gap a little more but were still outscored by the hometown team 33-31. However Freeman and Anderson, with help from their supporting cast continued to overpower the Storm defence. A late long-ball from Double A put the Riptide in front by 17 points going into the fourth quarter, 90-73.
The Riptide continued to hold the lead in the final frame just as they had for most of the night. After some poor free throw shooting in yesterday’s game, Saint John was in top form shooting 80% from the line tonight. Strong performances from their two MVPs gave the Riptide their first win of the season in front of a loud and boisterous Harbour Station crowd. Both finished with a double-double as Freeman had 29 points and 17 rebounds, while Anderson posted 25 points and 10 assists.
Other scorers for Saint John were Haakim Johnson, Darin Mency, and Anthony Stover with 11 points apiece. Canadian Olu Famutimi added 12 of his own.