SAINT JOHN, NB – On a snowy night in Saint John the Niagara River Lions visited Harbour Station for the first time this season to take on the Riptide. Niagara came into the contest with a 2-3 record and sitting fourth in the Central division, while the Riptide were second place in the Atlantic division with a record of 3-1.
The Riptide got off to a slow start but began to find their stride as the first quarter progressed. Gabe Freeman took things over early putting up 11 points in the opening 12 minutes of play. Marcus Lewis kept the River Lions in it with nine points, but they still trailed the home side 28-21 at the end of the first quarter.
Saint John continued to control the game in quarter number two. Anderson, McQueen and Johnson took advantage of a trio of sloppy passes by Niagara to add a steal each in the frame, bringing the team’s total to eight at the half. With their two MVPs Freeman and Anderson firing on all cylinders and Johnson nearing a double-digit point total for the second game in a row, the Riptide took a 51-38 into the locker room at halftime.
It was much of the same in the second half of the game as the Riptide expanded their lead. Leading by as much as 21 on multiple occasions in the final two quarters, Saint John ran away with it. In the end the River Lions would trim their deficit but would only get to within 13, losing 95-82 to the hometown Riptide.
The Riptide’ three leading scorers all nearly doubled their halftime totals. Gabe Freeman finished with 24 points and 7 rebounds, Anthony Anderson had 22 points to go with three steals, and Haakim Johnson picked up his second straight double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Marcus Lewis lead the River Lions with 21 points.
GAME POSTPONED: The Riptide were scheduled to travel to Charlottetown, PEI tomorrow for a 2pm game against the Island Storm. However, that game has been postponed due to a blizzard warning for the province of PEI. A makeup date will be announced soon.
Photo: Ruben Martinez / www.RubenPhotography.ca