MONCTON, N.B. — The Summerside Storm started off a stretch of five straight road games on a winning note Saturday night.
The Storm outscored the Moncton Miracles 103-94 at the Moncton Coliseum to improve to 3-0 in the young National Basketball League of Canada regular season. The Miracles, who won 90-86 over the Halifax Rainmen on Sunday afternoon, are 2-1.
“It’s always tough to get a road win,” said Storm centre Ayodokun Akingbade on Sunday. “We have a tough stretch next weekend on the road, back-to-back-to-back, so we need all our guys to dial in, focus in and come out with three wins.”
Akingbade was referring to three games in less than 72 hours in Ontario for the Storm. Summerside visits the expansion Windsor Express on Friday night, the Oshawa Power on Saturday evening and returns to Windsor for a matinee on Sunday.
The Storm will close out the five-game road stretch in Moncton on Thursday, Nov. 22, and will host the Miracles in the back end of a home-and-home series the following night, Friday, Nov. 23, at Eastlink Arena.
Bench big contributor
A key factor to the Storm’s victory against Moncton, said Akingbade, was the contributions from the bench. Eleven of the 12 Storm players listed on the game sheet contributed at least two points.
“We kind of started off slow,” assessed Akingbade. “The bench was a huge factor.
“We needed those guys to really step up after playing the night before (at home against Saint John). It’s tough to come out with a lot of energy in back-to-back (games) the second night. Everybody contributed, and we were able to pull out a win.”
Avery Smith poured in a game-high points to spark the Storm attack while Chris Cayole (16) and Greg Plummer (14) rounded out the top-three scorers. Al Stewart chipped in with 13.
Antonio Ballard led the Storm with 11 rebounds.
For Moncton, Darrell Wonge and Devin Sweetney led the way with 19 points each. Tyrone Levett had 16.
The Miracles led 21-19 after the first quarter, but the Storm outscored their hosts 27-22 in the second period to take a 46-43 lead into halftime. The Storm then built a 73-63 lead after three quarters.
“We knew Moncton was going to come out very aggressive, and they were very physical,” said Akingbade. “We were able to dominate both ends of the court and come out with the win.”