Summerside S. - St.John M.R. 106-96 The Summerside Storm may have waited until the second half to kick things into gear, but once they got on a roll the game took on a different look. The Storm overcame a 55-41 halftime deficit to defeat the Saint John Mill Rats 106-96. It was the second win in a week for the Storm over Saint John after winning the season-opener 118-99 a week earlier. 'We were two totally different teams (on Friday night),' said Storm power forward Doug McKinney of Charlottetown. 'The first half we weren't doing things that work well for us, crossing the offensive boards, getting to the free-throw line - we only shot three free throws in the first half . . . If you are only shooting three free throws to the other team's 16, you are going to be in a battle. 'We persevered through it in the second half, and there was never a second of doubt in our locker room. We knew what we had to do, come out and battle and fight, and just get back to the stuff that has won us games in the past.' The win improved the Storm's record to 2-0 in the National Basketball League of Canada regular season. Saint John fell to 1-2. Before 2,024 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Storm, who was led by the 27-point effort by former Mill Rat Gregory Plummer (6'3''-G-83, college: Eckerd), found themselves trailing most of the night. Jerice Crouch, who finished with 17 points, hit a three-pointer to give the Mill Rats an early 5-2 lead, and Saint John nevertrailed after that until the fourth quarter. Although the first quarter wasclose throughout, the Mill Rats ended the first 12 minutes on a 7-0 run to open up a 30-20 lead. The Mill Rats built a 12-point lead, 34-22, early in the second quarter, but it looked like the Storm was about to make things interesting. Back-to-back baskets by McKinney brought the Storm to within 34-28, and had the crowd back in the game. The Storm hauled in a defensive rebound on Saint John's next possession, but the Mill Rats stole the ball and Antonio Burks (6'6''-F-82, college: SF Austin) drained a three-pointer to make it a nine-point game, 37-28. 'We were aggressive on defence, but we gave up a lot of threes on broken plays,' assessed McKinney. 'There were a lot of offensive rebounds that we gave up, and those are real killers. They hit a couple of threes off offensive rebounds, and those hurt the most.' The Storm closed to within 37-33, but Saint John, which was led by Micah Brand (6'11''-C-80, college: Massachusetts) 's 18 points, finished the half on a 16-8 run to take a 55-41 lead into halftime. The Storm, who received a 17-point effort from Al Stewart, outscored the Mill Rats 26-23 in the third quarter, but once again Saint John nullified a potential Summerside rally with a late three-pointer. Summerside closed to within 75-67 and missed a three-point shot that would have made it 75-67. Saint John went back up the floor and Melvin Council hit nothing but net to make it 78-67 after three quarters. However, the Storm scored back-to-back baskets to open the fourth quarter on their way to outscoring Saint John 39-18 in the final 12 minutes. After the Storm took an 83-81 lead, McKinney drained a three-pointer to make the score 86-81, and the Storm would not look back. 'It feels great (to contribute offensively),' said McKinney. 'We've been practising for several weeks now, and they're (teammates) willing to make that pass. 'I have to be willing to catch and shoot, whether I'm playing two minutes a game or 12. That doesn't matter, and I have to be ready to go.' The Storm opens a five-game road trip in Moncton today. Courtesy of: theguardian.pe.ca
Moncton M. - Halifax R. 83-87 It wasn't cinematic but the Halifax Rainmen have their first win of the season - and avoided the first 0-3 start in team history. Brandon Robinson (6'6''-F-89, college: Clayton St.) scored 22 points, Joey Haywood added 21 and the visiting Rainmen edged the Moncton Miracles 87-83 on Thursday, overcoming another rough night from the field with a stellar showing from the charity stripe. 'Every game's not gonna be the prettiest but we're on the road so it's a hard-fought battle,' said Robinson, who shot 5-for-17 from the floor but made 11 of 13 at the free-throw line. 'It's good to get that one out of the way and now we can get the ball rolling.' Halifax had lost its first two starts on a three-game road swing, falling 111-105 in Windsor on Friday night before getting whipped 107-89 on Saturday in London, where tepid shooting sealed the team's fate before halftime. The Rainmen's struggles from the field continued Thursday. They combined to make just 25 per cent (24-95) of their field-goal attempts but were a solid 36 of 43 at the line. 'When the shot's not falling, you gotta get to the basket and try to get to that free-throw line and get your rhythm down,' Robinson said. 'We didn't shoot the ball too well tonight but we played defence and the shots are gonna come.' Halifax was fortunate to carry a 35-34 edge into the locker-room at halftime. The Rainmen connected on just nine of their first 41 field-goal tries, a 22 per cent clip that duplicated their efforts in a dismal first half Saturday in London. Going into the fourth trailing 64-63, it appeared the Rainmen's shooting woes would victimize them again. They didn't score their first point of the quarter until a Darren Duncan (5'11''-PG-88, college: Merrimack) free throw four minutes in, when they were down 69-63. But despite missing their first 11 shots from the floor, a Haywood layup through traffic and a Duncan jumper put the visitors ahead 70-69. An 8-0 run opened up their biggest lead of the game, 78-72, but the Miracles rallied to tie the game at 80-all. Clinging to an 82-81 advantage coming out of a timeout with 22 seconds left, Robinson nailed a long deuce from the left wing. He followed with a pair of free throws after Tyrone Levett (6'5''-F-80, college: Alabama St.)'s drive brought Moncton back to within one. The Miracles had a chance for a tie, inbounding the ball in Halifax's zone down 86-83 with 4.3 seconds to go. But Duncan intercepted the pass and was hacked trying to run out the clock. Josiah Turner added 11 for the Rainmen, eight of them in the second quarter, and Hillary Haley had 10. Tyrone Levett, the former Rainman traded to Moncton at the August draft, paced the Miracles with 23 points. Devin Sweetney chipped in with 17. Both teams struggled to hold on to the ball. The Rainmen made 25 turnovers - three fewer than they committed Saturday in London - while Moncton made 26. Courtesy of: thechronicleherald.ca
London L. - Oshawa P. 121-95 Playing host to the Oshawa Power at Budweiser Gardens in National Basketball League-Canada action on Thursday, the London Lightning may have started out slow but finished with a bang, posting a 121-95 victory. Trailing Oshawa 28-24 at the end of the first quarter, London fired up the offence in the second stanza to take the lead and never looked back from there. Lightning guard Morgan Lewis (6'4''-F-87, college: Findlay, OH), who played with the Power last season, had the hot hand for the home team, shooting for a game high 20 points while pulling in 11 rebounds. Amari Daanish (6'8''-F-83, agency: Elite Talent Exchange, college: Indiana St.) led the Power with 16 points, one of four Oshawa players to reach double digits. The two teams will go at it again in a week's time, playing in Oshawa on Nov. 15. The Power's home opener is this Saturday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. at the General Motors Centre. Courtesy of: durhamregion.com
Niagara River Lions (NBL Canada) cut 25-year old naturalized Nigerian guard Rotimi Osuntola (196-92, college: Windsor). But in four NBL Canada games he averaged just 1.8ppg and 1.8rpg this season. Osuntola also spent pre-season at Agustinos-Leclerc (LEB Silver) in Spanish league earlier that year. Among other achievements his team won OUA West Division Regular Season in 2013 and 2015. Osuntola received also All-OUA 1st Team award in 2015 at his college time. Osuntola graduated from Univer... [read more]
Niagara River Lions (NBL Canada) cut 25-year old naturalized Nigerian guard Rotimi Osuntola (196-92, college: Windsor). But in four NBL Canada games he averaged just 1.8ppg and 1.8rpg this season. Osuntola also spent pre-season at Agustinos-Leclerc (LEB Silver) in Spanish league earlier that year. Among other achievements his team won OUA West Division Regular Season in 2013 and 2015. Osuntola received also All-OUA 1st Team award in 2015 at his college time. Osuntola graduated from University of Windsor in 2015 and it is his second season in pro basketball.
Island Storm (NBL Canada) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Da'Quan Cook (205-100kg-87, college: St.Bonaventure, agency: Aspire Sports) from Niagara River Lions. In 36 NBL Canada games in Canada he had 13.2ppg, 6.8rpg and 2.3apg last season. The previous (2015) summer Cook played at Cafeteros in Colombian Liga DirecTV where in 19 games he recorded 13.1ppg and 6.8rpg in 2015 season. He won Atlantic 10 Tournament in 2012. Cook is quite experienced player. His career allowed him... [read more]
Island Storm (NBL Canada) agreed terms with 30-year old American forward Da'Quan Cook (205-100kg-87, college: St.Bonaventure, agency: Aspire Sports) from Niagara River Lions. In 36 NBL Canada games in Canada he had 13.2ppg, 6.8rpg and 2.3apg last season. The previous (2015) summer Cook played at Cafeteros in Colombian Liga DirecTV where in 19 games he recorded 13.1ppg and 6.8rpg in 2015 season. He won Atlantic 10 Tournament in 2012. Cook is quite experienced player. His career allowed him to visit four different continents, while he played in five different countries. Cook tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Latin America, Africa and of course North America. He has played previously professionally in Bulgaria (Yambol), France (Hyeres-Toulon), Morocco (FAR Rabat), United Kingdom (Sheffield Sharks) and D-League (Maine Red Claws). Cook attended St.Bonaventure University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player. On Cook:
Da'Quan is a triple threat in the paint. He can score with back to bucket, Face and Shoot, or face and drive and finish at the rim. Great shooter anywhere on the floor including the 3 point shot.Good rebounder and shot blocker. Very fast in transition. Can Pick and Roll and Pick and Pop. Has 7' 3" wing span that creates steals in passing lanes. Good character on and off the floor.
Island Storm (NBL Canada) cut 26-year old American center Leon Gibson (206-111kg-91, college: Houston). In 8 NBL Canada games he averaged 8.9ppg and 7.4rpg this season. Gibson also played earlier that season for Hebraica in Uruguayan LUB where in three NBL Canada games he had 11.0ppg and 6.3rpg. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life on three different continents. He is familiar with European, Latin American and of course North American leagues. Gibson has played previously... [read more]
Island Storm (NBL Canada) cut 26-year old American center Leon Gibson (206-111kg-91, college: Houston). In 8 NBL Canada games he averaged 8.9ppg and 7.4rpg this season. Gibson also played earlier that season for Hebraica in Uruguayan LUB where in three NBL Canada games he had 11.0ppg and 6.3rpg. And here thanks to pro basketball he experienced life on three different continents. He is familiar with European, Latin American and of course North American leagues. Gibson has played previously professionally in France (Aubenas), Mexico (Pioneros Los Mochis) and D-League (Rio Grande Valley Vipers). He attended University of Houston until 2013 and it is his fourth season in pro basketball. Let's have closer look into Gibson's outlook:
Athletic post player who brings size and athleticism.. Talented scorer who can hit shots from the inside and the outside... Runs the floor well... Has tremendous potential... Hails from an award-winning junior college program. NBA body with a knack for rebounds and finishing strong.
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