SUDBURY, Ont., – The Saint John Riptide had to work a little extra Thursday night, but they were rewarded with their first win of the National Basketball League of Canada season.
Frank Bartley led the way with 24 points to propel Saint John to a 115-111 overtime win over the Sudbury Five.Daniel Dingle scored 18 for the Riptide, including four of the team’s eight points in the extra frame.
Jeremiah Mordi added 15, none bigger than a free throw that secured the win with six seconds left.
Braylon Rayson was the top scorer for Sudbury with 29 points – 21 coming in the second half and OT.
Jaylen Bland added 25, including a three-pointer that tied the score at 107-107 at the end of regulation.
With the win Saint John improves to 1-5 while Sudbury falls to 4-2 in their inaugural NBL of Canada campaign.
The game saw the Riptide debut of 6-foot-11 forward Walter Pitchford, who was traded by Sudbury earlier in the week for the rights to Canadian guard Alex Johnson. Pitchford, who played five games for the Toronto Raptors 905 in 2015, scored four points and grabbed three boards in 13 minutes of floor time.
Saint John poured in 24 points to take a 73-68 lead heading into the four quarter. A back-and-forth third quarter saw five ties and seven lead changes, before Saint John took control late in the frame.
The Riptide trailed by two at half, 49-47, after trimming an eight-point first quarter deficit. Sudbury led 29-21 after one period.
The ‘Tide will be in London to play the Lightning Saturday night. London moved to 4-2 with a 99-98 home win over the 1-5 Windsor Express Thursday night.
Saint John lost 103-95 to the Lightning on Nov. 29 at Harbour Station. Following the London game, the ‘Tide returns to the Maritimes for road games against the Moncton Magic, Dec. 16, Cape Breton Highlanders, Dec. 23, and Island Storm, Dec. 26.
The Riptide’s next home game is Dec. 27 when they’ll face the Halifax Hurricanes in a 7 p.m. start at Harbour Station.