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Late Free Throws Push Miracles Past Riptide

MONCTON, NB – The Saint John Riptide finished off a three-game road swing Tuesday night at the Moncton Coliseum as they took on the Miracles. Moncton had won four straight coming into action while Saint John was coming off a win over the Cape Breton Highlanders on Saturday.

Gabe Freeman came out of the gates hot posting double digit points in the opening minutes of the game to give the Riptide an early edge. The Miracles could not get things going on the offensive end allowing the Riptide to pull ahead by 12 at the end of the first quarter, 37-25. Things started to go slightly in the other direction in the second quarter with the Miracles trending upward as they trimmed their deficit by three. However, they remained behind by nine at halftime 59-50.

Moncton continued to chip away at the Riptide lead thanks to timely three-point shooting from Melvin Johnson III and Darrell Wonge among others. A 31-point performance in the third brought them to within five going into the final 12 minutes of play, 86-81.

Early in the final frame tempers boiled over the quality of officiating as Miracles head coach Paul Mokeski and Riptide forward Haakim Johnson were both handed double technical fouls five minutes apart. In the last moments of the game Saint John had several opportunities to close it out with the Miracles forced to foul to stop the clock. The Riptide made just two of their four free throws while Malik Story drained the game winning shots from the charity stripe with two seconds on the clock to clinch a 123-122 victory for the home side.

Anthony Anderson posted a game-high 35 points while Gabe Freeman finished with 32 points and 15 rebounds. Horace Wormely scored his highest total of the season at 31 points. Malik Story paced the Miracles with 27 points and Tydran Beaty had 21.

Next up for the Riptide is a home game this Thursday as the Island Storm visit Harbour Station for a 7pm tilt.

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