CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – The Saint John Riptide came into the Eastlink Centre on Saturday night in hopes of putting together a bounce back performance after their large defeat Thursday night at the hands of the Island Storm. With the series all knotted 1-1, the Riptide and Storm faced off once again in the third game of their best-of-five Atlantic Division semi-final series.
Saint John got a much better start to the game than they did in game two and posted 30 points in the opening 12 minutes of action. However, the Island Storm were up to the task and also scored 30 in the frame to even things up after the first quarter. The Storm started to take control of the game in the second quarter as they shutdown the Riptide on the defensive end limiting the visitors to just 18 points in the quarter, while scoring 28 of their own. That gave them a 10-point edge at halftime, 58-48.
The third quarter was arguably the best of one the night for Saint John as they avenged a rough first half with a 33-point mark in the third to erase the Storm’s lead and grab a lead of their own, 81-78 going into the fourth quarter.
Continuing the back and forth trend we’d seen thus far in the game, the Storm pushed back in the final 12 minutes finding themselves down by just two points with five seconds to play. Jahii Carson continued to propel the Island’s offence as he scored a last second layup to tie the game and send it into overtime after a pair of questionable calls against the Riptide. Overtime was controlled mostly by the Storm as they outscored Saint John 20-13 en route to a 130-123 victory and a 2-1 series lead.
For the Riptide three players scored over 20 points with Anthony Anderson posting 27 while Chris Commons had 24 and Gabe Freeman had 22. Carson had 32 points on the night to lead the Storm.
Game four goes tomorrow afternoon at the Eastlink Centre. Tip-off is set for 2pm as the Riptide look to even the series and send it to a deciding fifth game on their home court.