SAINT JOHN, NB – The Saint John Riptide came into action Saturday night having lost their last three games. Their opponents, the Moncton Miracles, were also in need of a victory after losing three of their last four contests. Another chapter in the battle of the 506 was on tap and it did not disappoint.
In the first quarter fans were treated to some high-paced action as the two sides traded scores throughout the frame. A late three from the Riptide gave them a slight advantage, 27-24 at the end of the opening quarter. Neither side let up in the second quarter as the score stayed extremely tight. Malik Story was firing on all cylinders for the Miracles with Haakim Johnson carrying the load early for the Riptide. When the buzzer sounded at the half, it was the same margin in favour of the Riptide as it was after the first, with the home side leading 48-45.
Whatever coach Paul Mokeski said in the locker room during the break definitely sparked his Miracles squad as they got off to a hot start in the third quarter. Melvin Johnson III started to heat up after having a very quiet first half and Story continued his strong performance allowing Moncton to outscore the Riptide 29-27 in the third to bring themselves to within a point, 75-74.
The fourth quarter saw the Miracles really take control of the game and distance themselves from the Riptide. NBL Canada all-time leading scorer Anthony Anderson did his best to keep his squad within striking distance but in the end the Miracles eight-point edge in fourth quarter scoring would prove to be too much for Saint John overcome as Moncton captured their first road win of the season, 104-97.
Anthony Anderson dropped 37 points along with six rebounds and eight assists while Haakim Johnson posted yet another double-double of 28 points and 16 rebounds. Malik Story was the Miracles high-man with 24 points and Korie Lucious had 20.
These two teams meet up again this Wednesday, March 8 back at Harbour Station for a 7pm tip-off.