NBL of Canada semifinal tied 2-2 with Game 5 Monday in Charlottetown
By Andrew Rankin
HALIFAX — When the game was on the line, Jason Williams came through.
The Halifax Rainmen’s leading scorer already had a stellar game by the time his squad fought tooth and nail for a single point lead over the visiting Island Storm, with just over two minutes left in regulation time.
But then he found another level, rattling off eight straight points in the clutch, while finishing with a franchise-record 41 points to lead the Rainmen to an inspiring
108-104 come-from-behind victory over the Storm.
With that, Williams and Co. tied their best-of-seven semifinal 2-2 before a charged announced audience of 2,853 at the Halifax Metro Centre on Sunday afternoon.
“That’s my job for this team,” said an exhausted, sweat-covered Williams.
“If I have to put the team on my shoulders I welcome that challenge. My teammates gave me the ball, put me in the position to score and I delivered tonight.”
It didn’t look good in the early going for the Rainmen, who in the first quarter looked slow and out of sorts, falling behind 14 points.
But from there, the home squad slowly found its rhythm, and in the end, simply outhustled and outplayed the Storm when it mattered most.
“We’ve been fighting all year. We will never give up,” said Williams. “We wanted to make the last punch in the fourth quarter to win the game.”
Rainmen centre Tim Parham rebounded from a sub-par performance on Thursday, to grab 18 rebounds and collect 13 points.
Game 5 goes tonight at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
“It’s been a great series. Both teams have played great on the road, ending up with a win,” said Rainmen guard Clifford Clinkscales, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“It’s going to be a big game tomorrow, fast turnaround. We just have to go out there and play a full 48 minutes. We’re going to leave it all on the floor.”
Once again Nick Okorie led the Storm in scoring with 26 points.
“We just fell under the pressure,” said Storm centre Steve Tchiengang, who posted seven points and five rebounds. “They made an impressive run. Credit goes to them. We just have to be prepared for that pressure on Monday and play our game and be under control. We’ll be ready.”
Storm – 104.
Rainmen – 108.
Storm – Nick Okorie 26, Antonio Ballard 24, Adrian Moss 16.
Rainmen – Jason Williams 41, Raven Barber 18, Tim Parham 13, Olumuyiwa Famutimi 10 and Clifford Clinkscales 10.
Storm – Antonio Ballard 11.
Rainmen – Tim Parham 18.
Storm – Adrian Moss 4.
Rainmen – Clifford Clinkscales 10.
Field goals percentage
Storm – 40.5 (30-for-74).
Rainmen – 40 (34-for-85).
Storm – 37 (10-for-27).
Rainmen – 20 (2-for-10).
Storm – 79 (34-for-43).
Rainmen – 86 (38-for-44).
Storm – 17.
Rainmen – 22.
Points in the paint
Storm – 32.
Rainmen – 46.