Robinson became the first player in the two-year-old Canadian professional basketball league to score 1,000 points in the Storm’s thrilling 101-95 win over the Moncton Miracles.
“It’s a blessing,” said Robinson, who set the record with a lay-up late in the second quarter . “I’ve been through a lot in life, and I’ve always been a hard-worker.
“Coming into this league, I didn’t always have high expectations for myself. I feel like I’ve done a lot right now.
“It’s a constant grind in this league, and I’m happy to have that accomplishment under my belt.”
It was also a key win for the Storm, who improved to 10-9 (won-lost) while the Miracles dropped to 9-11 in the tight Atlantic Conference. Elsewhere in the Atlantic Conference on Friday night, the first-place Saint John Mill Rats routed the Halifax Rainmen 119-97. Saint John is now 10-7 while Halifax is 8-10.
The announced crowd of 1,847 fans at Eastlink Arena could not afford to leave early on this night.
Both teams held the lead in the final minute of the game, but newcomer Omari Johnson’s hook shot with the shot clock winding down and 35.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter put the Storm in front for good, 96-95.
“I just knew we needed a bucket, and I tried to get in the best position I could,” said Johnson, who caught the ball in the paint with six seconds showing on the shot clock. “I usually make that shot, so I had confidence in me.”
But the game was far from over. Robinson hit one of two free-throws to make it 97-95 with 29.1 seconds remaining. Moncton’s Oliver McNally then missed on a long-range shot, and Johnson hauled in the rebound. Robinson was then fouled, and he promptly sank both foul shots to make it a two-possession game, 99-95. Antonio Ballard closed out the scoring two more free throws for the Storm with 5.7 seconds to go.
Robinson, who led the Storm with 29 points, went into the game needing 11 points to reach 1,000.
“It’s a blessing. I’ve been through a lot in life, and I’ve always been a hard-worker. Coming into this league, I didn’t always have high expectations for myself. I feel like I’ve done a lot right now. It’s a constant grind in this league, and I’m happy to have that accomplishment under my belt.” - Storm guard Brandon Robinson
“I was aware of it (record) coming into tonight, but the last game (against Halifax on Boxing Day) I was not,” said Robinson. “Somebody actually told me I was close to it. I didn’t have a clue.”
Ballard continued his consistent play with a 15-point effort while Johnson and Chris Cayole, who hit three three-pointers, each sank 13. Avery Smith also scored in double digits, 11.
Devin Sweetney, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, sparked the Miracles with 29 points. Micah Brand (16), Darrell Wonge (14) and McNally (12) were Moncton’s other top scorers.
Brand’s foul shot with 3:38 remaining in the fourth quarter completed a three-point play and gave the Miracles an 89-88 lead. It was the first Moncton led since the first quarter.
The Storm overcame a slow start offensively to lead 27-19 after one quarter, and 51-42 at the half. The Storm, who led by as many as 13 points on a couple of occasions throughout the game, took a 78-66 advantage into the final 12 minutes.
It was the Storm’s fourth win of the regular season against Moncton this season.
Omari Johnson recorded a double-double for the Storm – 13 points and 13 rebounds. Nine of those boards were at the defensive end.
The game marked the debut of Miracles head coach Dennis Truax.
The Storm’s bench outscored Moncton’s 41-20.
The Storm scored 11 points off turnovers compared to Moncton’s four.
Isaac Butts and Sylvania Watkins each recorded a team-high 10 rebounds for Moncton.
There were two technical fouls called in the game – against Watkins and the Storm’s Greg Plummer.