Hurricanes blow past slow-moving Storm in second half and earn road victory Monday
Slow-starting third quarters have been bugaboos for the Island Storm this season and Monday's 104-93 loss to the Halifax Hurricanes didn't reverse the trend.
This time, the Hurricanes outgunned the sluggish Storm 28-15 in the third and increased its 49-48 halftime edge to a 77-63 advantage after three quarters in the National Basketball League of Canada game.
In the fourth, the Storm found itself down by 16 points midway through the period but recovered and cut the lead to seven (94-87) with three and half minutes remaining.
Rashad Whack did his part with 13 of his 25 points in the final stanza, including two of his four three-pointers, but it wasn't enough as Halifax won the second game in the two-game home-and-home set with the Storm. Sunday, it won 104-84 in Halifax.
"It's just kind of been that way all season. We come out slow (in the third). We continue to work on it," said Whack after Monday's matinee. "It's hard to say why it happens. We have to be stronger mentally and come out with the same energy as the start of the game. It's frustrating that it's happened all season, but we've got to stay with it."
Terry Thomas added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Storm. Bookend big forwards Brian Addison and Tirrell Baines each chipped in 13 points. Chad Posthumus grabbed a team-high nine boards.
The loss dropped the Storm to an Atlantic Division-low 10-18, while Halifax, led by Shane Gibson's 23 points, upped its Atlantic and league-leading mark to 20-8.
Mike Glover went for 20 points and nine rebounds for Halifax, while Kyle Hunt drained 19 points and grabbed six boards. Clifford Clinkscales dished out a game-high 13 assists.
In the paint, the Hurricanes outmanned the Storm with 50 points versus the Storm's 38, and did a better job rebounding in the second half.
“I’d like to apologize to Eastlink TV, its viewers, and all our Storm fans for my use of language during some of our timeouts in today’s game. Eastlink puts on a great broadcast, and I took away from that today. I want to apologize specifically to some of our younger fans and viewers. My choice of language was wrong, and uncalled for. Using language that I would never use in front of my own children should not have been used in front of others either, and for this again I apologize. I want to thank our fans for their continued support of Island Storm basketball." Joe Salerno, Island Storm head coach
And that, said Gibson, was a major reason his squad nabbed the W.
"They had something like 10 offensive rebounds in the first half and we decided we had to clamp down on that," said Gibson, who hit a game-high five three-pointers. "We knew they would play hard and we would have to match their intensity. That was the difference in the second half."
The Storm travel to Ontario to face the Orangeville A's on Thursday the Niagara River Lions on Friday. Start times are 8 p.m. for both games.
A look at Monday's National Basketball League of Canada game at Eastlink Centre:
The Outcome - Halifax 104 Island Storm 93
Top Three Scorers - Halifax: Shane Gibson, 23, Mike Glover, 20, Kyle Hunt, 19; Island Storm: Rashad Whack, 25, Terry Thomas, 20, Brian Addison, Tirrell Baines, 13.
Top Three Rebounders - Halifax: Mike Glover, 9, Kyle Hunt, 6, Joel Friesen, 5; Island Storm: Chad Posthumus, 9, Terry Thomas, Tirrell Baines, 8.
Three-Point Shooter - Halifax: Shane Gibson, 5-for-8; Island Storm: Rashad Whack, 4-for-9.
Most Assists - Halifax: Clifford Clinkscales, 13; Island Storm: Malcolm Grant, 7.
Free Throws - Halifax: Mike Glover, 4-for-5; Island Storm: Rashad Whack, 5-for-6.
Rebounds - Halifax: 41; Island Storm: 47.
Shooting Percentage - Halifax: 53 per cent; Island Storm: 40 per cent.
Free Throw Percentage - Halifax: 82 per cent; Island Storm: 66 per cent.
Next Up - The Storm (10-18) travel to Ontario to face the Orangeville A's (8-22) on Thursday the Niagara River Lions (12-19) on Friday. Start times are 8 p.m. for both games.