SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Riptide couldn’t withstand a late surge by the Sudbury 5 Wednesday night, falling 108-101 in National Basketball League of Canada play at Harbour Station.
It was the inside-out combination of Cory Dixon and Braylon Rayson that spelled the difference. The Riptide pulled within two points three times in the final quarter but each time they did, the pair had an answer – Dixon with inside baskets and Brayson with bombs from beyond the three-point arc.
“Their guards got going in the fourth quarter. We tried to fire off them but it was a bit too late,” Riptide centre T.J. Maston said after the game.
“They hit some shots from very deep and if a couple of those shots had gone left, I could see us winning that game.”
Maston led the ‘Tide with 16 points and eight rebounds. Frank Bartley added 15. Chris Early and Daniel Dingle chipped in with 13 apiece. Marvin Binney with 12, rounded out the double-digit scorers for Saint John, which fell to 6-13.
Rayson and Dixon each poured in 34 points for the Five, who stand at 10-12.
The Riptide opened the final quarter with a 72-71 lead. They trailed 48-46 at the half after leading 24-20 at the end of the first quarter.
Saint John is back in action Thursday when they host the Windsor Express in a 7 p.m. tip off.
“We just have to be physical against them without fouling,” Maston said of the Express, who beat the ‘Tide 102-86 in Windsor on Jan. 11. “Tonight, I picked up some early fouls reaching, so we have to be more solid, make them go through our chest and we’ll be OK.”