SAINT JOHN, NB – For the third game in a row the Saint John Riptide went up against a division leader in National Basketball League Action. Thursday night they took on the Halifax Hurricanes at Harbour Station. Halifax took the previous meeting between the two squads on Sunday 113-102.
As usual in these battles of the Atlantic division’s top two teams, the Riptide and Hurricanes locked horns early. The two squads went back and forth in the first quarter, but it was the higher ranked team with the lead after one as Halifax was in front 26-20.
The second quarter didn’t go quiet as well for the Riptide as they let things get out of control. Halifax began to heat up while Saint John was trending in the opposite direction. Several kick passing plays setting up open looks from beyond the arc helped the Hurricanes pad their lead, and all of a sudden they found themselves ahead by 19 points. 57-38 was the score at halftime.
Whatever Coach Spon said to his guys in the locker room during the halftime break definitely worked. Haakim Johnson turned smoking hot knocking down trey after trey while Anthony Anderson drove the hoop in an effort to chip away at the Hurricanes lead. A 29-point effort did just that and helped them get within striking distance, trailing 78-67 after three quarters.
The Riptide would again outscore the Hurricanes in the fourth but not by a large enough margin. Missed free throws down the stretch would eventually wash away any hopes they had of completing a comeback, despite outscoring Halifax 29-23 in the fourth quarter. The Hurricanes would hold on to take the win 101-96.
Anthony Anderson had a game-high 27 points and seven assists while Haakim Johnson also had a strong night posting 26 points and hauling down 12 rebounds. Jahmal McQueen finished with 13 points and Brian Addison had 11. Antoine Mason was the Hurricanes leader with 21 points and 10 rebounds.