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Saint John loses close one in dying seconds to Hurricanes

Saint John loses close one in dying seconds to Hurricanes

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Riptide fell four points short in another game that went right down to the wire, losing 114-110 to the Halifax Hurricanes Wednesday night in National Basketball League of Canada play.

Trailing by two points with 8.5 second left at Harbour Station, Saint John failed to get the ball inbounds, extinguishing its hopes of coming back from a 17-point third-quarter deficit.

“We took too much time running the out-of-bounds play and that’s on me. I’ll take the blame for that,” head coach Nelson Terroba said after the game. “But, we did a lot of things well to get back in the game and we can build off that.”

Frank Bartley was the top scorer for the ‘Tide, scoring 24 of his 28 points in the second half. Chris Early recorded a double-double, with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Renaldo Dixon had his best game of the season, notching 14 points to go along with six rebounds off the bench. Randy Phillips, with 12, and Jeremiah Mordi with 11 also scored in double digits for Saint John.

It was a Poole party for Halifax, as small forward Mike Poole drained 15-25 shots, including five three-pointers to lead the ‘Canes. Poole scored 26 of his game-high 39 points in the second half, including a two-pointer with nine seconds left that broke a 110-110 tie.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to Mike Poole. We just didn’t have an answer for him tonight,” Terroba said.

Saint John trailed 83-76 to begin the final frame. The ‘Tide managed to trim a 17-point deficit thanks to the exploits of forward Daniel Dingle, who scored 11 of his 16 points in the quarter for Saint John.

The ‘Canes went into the second half with a 57-45 lead after shooting 71 per cent from the field and outscoring the Riptide 38-22 in the second quarter.

Saint John led 23-19 after one quarter on the strength of a 7-0 start.

The Riptide signed T.J. Maston, a 6-foot-8, De Soto, Tex.,  native on Wednesday.

Maston played collegiately at Baylor University and appeared in three games for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League this season before joining the ‘Tide. Saint John released forward/centre Walter Pitchford to make room.

Maston dressed but did not play.The ‘Tide are back in action at home Thursday night when they take on the St. John’s Edge, featuring former Boston Celtics forward Glen (Big Baby) Davis. Tip off is at 7 p.m. The teams will be at it again on Sunday in  2 p.m. tilt at Harbour Station.

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