The Storm, keyed by back-to-back three-pointers from Chris Cayole and Willy Manigat to start the second quarter, went on to outscore the Mill Rats 41-17 in the period en route to building a 30-point lead at halftime – 70-40. The final score of the National Basketball League of Canada contest was 140-95.
The win reduced the Storm’s magic number of clinching the Atlantic Division to two while improving their record to 22-14 (won-lost). The Mill Rats, one of five teams battling for three playoff spots, fell to 18-19.
Omari Johnson poured in a game-high 26 points to lead the Storm while Brandon Robinson had 24. Chris Cayole (18), Louis Birdsong Jr. (14), Willy Manigat (14), Doug McKinney (12) and Al Stewart (12) also hit double digits for the Storm.
Kenny Jones led the Mill Rats with 18 points while Jerice Crouch sank 15 and Cavell Johnson had 14.
The win avenged the Storm’s 100-89 loss in Saint John on Feb. 21, when the Mill Rats overcame a 24-point deficit at halftime.
The Storm, who began a five-game homestand to close out the regular season against Saint John, hosts the Oshawa Power (18-17) on Friday at 7 p.m., and the Halifax Rainmen (18-18) visit the Prince County city for a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.
The Mill Rats are back in action on Friday night in Montreal against the struggling Jazz (2-36).