By Neil Hodge/Times & Transcript
MONCTON – A franchise low crowd watched a game the Moncton Miracles would like to forget.
© VIKTOR PIVOVAROV/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT
Moncton Miracles' Boubacar Coly fouls Summerside Storm Eric Gilchrese as teammate Jared Carter (44) looks on during National Basketball League of Canada action at the Moncton Coliseum Thursday night.
They reached the midway mark of their 36-game regular season with a 119-104 loss to the Summerside Storm in National Basketball League of Canada action last night in front of 1,175 fans at the Moncton Coliseum.
“You’ve got to give Summerside credit because they came out strong and made shots in the first half,” said Moncton head coach Mike Evans. “We didn’t shoot well in the first half and I don’t think our energy level was where it needed to be.
“Summerside’s size and their ability to score early on gave them the cushion that they needed. We got ourselves in a deep hole, and when we made our run in the second half, we just didn’t have enough to overcome them.”
Stephen McDowell was Summerside’s top scorer with 28 points, followed by Mike Williams with 19 and Julian Allen with 17. The Storm are fifth in the seven-team league at 8-11.
“For the most part, I thought we played close to a full game,” said Summerside head coach Joe Salerno. “Any time you get a win on the road in this league it’s a good win. Moncton is tough, though, and they didn’t show any quit.
“Moncton got hot and went on a good run in the fourth quarter to make it close. We started missing some shots and I think we got a little careless with the basketball. I’m pleased with the last three minutes of the game. They made the run back into the game, but we hung in there and gutted out the win. We didn’t fold.”
Moncton trailed by a double digit points total for most of the game, then came on strong in the fourth quarter and pulled to within four points, but in the end dropped to 1-2 versus Summerside.
Summerside was 41-for-97 (.422) in field goals and 6-for-22 (.272) in three-point shots. Moncton was 31-for-89 (.348) in field goals and 8-for-21 (.381) in three-point shots.
The Storm held a 71-66 edge in rebounds, but they were particularly strong in offensive rebounding and scored 18 second chance points.
Moncton had no answers defensively in the first quarter. Summerside came out storming and scored seemingly at will en route to a 34-23 lead at the end of the period.
The Storm came out razor sharp and was 14-for-23 (.609) in field goals in the first quarter. The Miracles, on the other hand, struggled at 9-for-27 (.333) in field goals in that period.
Summerside continued to put on a great offensive display in the second quarter with a 37-30 edge. The visitors were in complete control with a double-digit lead throughout and they took a 71-53 lead into halftime.
Moncton came out much stronger in the second half, winning the third quarter 21-20 and the fourth quarter 30-28.
The closest the Miracles got in the third quarter was an 11-point deficit and they trailed 91-74 at the end of the period.
The Miracles created late dramatics by cutting their deficit to 106-102 with 2:36 showing on the block, but that’s where their comeback died.
Meanwhile, the NBL Canada announced yesterday that its inaugural all-star weekend has been awarded to Halifax.
It will take place the last weekend of March with Rogers Communications being the title sponsor. The official dates and schedule of events will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Storm sees action again tonight (Friday) when they visit the London Lightning before returning home to take on the Oshawa Power on Thursday, Jan. 12, for a 7 p.m. start at Credit Union Place.