Rainmen defeat Island Storm 104-93

Jason Malloy
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Published on March 16, 2014

Shawn Vanzant heads up the floor during third quarter action against the Halifa Rainmen Sunday in Charlottetown.

Published on March 16, 2014

Nick Okorie of the Island Storm guards Chris Matthews of the Halifax Rainmen.

Published on March 16, 2014

Shawn Vanzant of the Island Storm heads toward the Rainmen's end.

Published on March 16, 2014

Adrian Moss of the Island Storm looks for a way to get around s guard and to head to the basket.

Published on March 16, 2014

Tim Parham of the Halifax Rainmen guards Steve Tchiengang of the Island Storm during the second game in their NBL series in the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown Sunday.

Published on March 16, 2014

Adrian Moss of the Island Storm looks over his shoulder and sees Brian Addison of the Halifax Rainmen bearing down on him during the second game in their NBL series in the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown Sunday. 

Published on March 16, 2014

Raven Barber of the Halifax Rainmen is guarded by Jeremy Williams of the Island Storm during the second game in their NBL series in the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown Sunday.

'There’s just no excuse for our lack of effort' – Storm coach Salerno

The Halifax Rainmen took home-court advantage from the Island Storm with a 104-93 victory Sunday in Charlottetown.

The best-of-seven National Basketball League of Canada semifinal is now tied 1-1 heading to Halifax for Thursday’s third game.

“We didn’t do our job tonight, pretty much top to bottom,” Storm coach Joe Salerno said.

“There’s just no excuse for our lack of effort,” he added. “I think mentally we weren’t tough at all tonight.”

He said the shots they talked about getting in practice were there, but the shots weren’t falling.

“Once that happened, our guys took it upon themselves to make things happen on their own,” Salerno said.

The Storm played the game without two of its leaders in forward Antonio Ballard (wrist) and point guard Al Stewart (sprained ankle). Stewart is doubtful for Thursday while the Storm is hoping Ballard, who led them in scoring and rebounding this season, can play.

Rainmen forward Jason Williams said Sunday was a big victory after not being able to close out Game 1 with a lead late in the fourth quarter.

On Sunday, the Storm took a 28-24 lead into the second quarter, but the Rainmen responded, outscoring the Storm by 10 to take a 49-43 lead to halftime.

“We were just getting our feet wet,” Williams said. “Then we found our rhythm.”

Rainmen coach Craig Hodges said some turnovers and missed free throws prevented them from pulling away from the Storm.

“But there’s no pictures on the scorecards like golf, so it’s an ugly win, but a win just the same,” he said.

Williams led the Rainmen with 35 points.

“As he goes, we go,” Hodges said of his veteran. “Right now, he’s playing at a high level.”

Salerno said the Storm can’t let him score that many points.

“It was like we were letting him get whatever he wanted tonight,” he said.

Storm guard Nick Okorie said the Rainmen came ready to play.

“We missed a lot of shots that we normally hit,” he said.

Okorie said it is important to turn the page and get ready for the next game and try to regain home-court advantage with a road win.

Hodges said the Rainmen received a boost from a loud contingent of Halifax fans sitting behind the team’s bench.

“That’s our sixth man,” he said. “We have great fans and great fan support.”

Hodges said they deserve a winner and the Rainmen are trying to build the culture to make that happen.

Charlottetown’s Doug McKinney scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting for the Storm. Seven of the points came in the final two minutes of the game.

 

Instant replay

Score

Rainmen – 104.

Storm – 93.

Score by the quarter

Rainmen 24   25     30     25

Storm     28   15     25     25

Top scorers

Rainmen – Jason Williams 35, Brian Addison 18, Olumuyiwa Famutimi 14, Clifford Clinkscales 13 and Chris Matthews 12.

Storm – Jeremy Williams 18, Nick Okorie 15, Casey Love 14, Adrian Moss 10 and Steve Tchiengang 10.

Rebounds

Rainmen – Brian Addison 11.

Storm – Jeremy Williams 7.

Assists

Rainmen – Clifford Clinkscales 13.

Storm – Shawn Vanzant 7.

Field-goal percentage

Rainmen – 55 (42-for-77).

Storm – 49 (35-for-78).

Three-point percentage

Rainmen – 38 (6-for-16).

Storm – 27 (7-for-26).

Free-throw percentage

Rainmen – 52 (14-27).

Storm – 84 (16-for-19).

Attendance – 1,996.

 

Series recap

Game 1

Wednesday

Rainmen 95 at Storm 107 (OT)

Game 2

Sunday

Rainmen 107 at Storm 95

Game 3

Thursday

Storm at Rainmen, 7 p.m.

Game 4

Sunday

Storm at Rainmen, 2 p.m.

Game 5

Monday, March 24

Rainmen at Storm, 7 p.m.

Game 6*

Wednesday, March 26

Storm at Rainmen, 7 p.m.

Game 7*

Saturday, March 29

Rainmen at Storm, 7 p.m.

* If necessary

Organizations: Eastlink Centre, Halifax Metro Centre

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