Jones Debut Sparks Rally
(Saint John, NB): The Saint John Mill Rats presented by Rogers, battled out for a huge overtime win over the Moncton Miracles at Harbour Station on Thursday night in front of 2, 875 fans with a final score of 133-122.
The Miracles got an early lead in the first but the Mill Rats were able to tie it up, 17-17 with 5 minutes left. After some clutch baskets from Steve Deluca and a great play from Anthony Anderson out to Mike Anderson for a three, the Mill Rats jumped ahead of the Miracles, closing the first, 35-25.
The Miracles battled back in the second quarter to close the spread but still were not able to edge out the Mill Rats before half. By half time, Mill Rats Deluca had already drained 17 points, contributing to the 54-50 lead for Saint John.
The third quarter, the Miracles came out blazing, outscoring the Mill Rats 42-29. Just over 3 minutes into the third, the Miracles were able to take back the lead. The Miracles started the quarter down by 4 points but were able to widen their lead and close the third, 83-92.
A few minutes into the fourth quarter, it looked as though the Mill Rats were going to lose the battle as the Miracles pulled into a double digit lead. With 5 minutes left in play, Taneiko Robinson pumped some life into the game, dropping a three pointer, closing the spread 98-106.
After a three from Jerice Crouch and a basket from Cavell Johnson, the Mill Rats slowly chipped away at the Miracle's lead. With 2:16 to go, a lay-up from Johnson and three points from Kenny Jones' And 1 play, made it a three point ball game, 110-113.
With 10.5 seconds to go, Kenny Jones got the ball down low, pretended to make the play in towards the basket but passed off to Cavell at the top of the key for a basket that tied the game, 115-115, bringing it into overtime.
In overtime play, the Mill Rats were able to drain their shots but hold the Miracles off from getting more than one shot off at the other end. They outscored the Miracles in overtime, 18-7. A dunk from Johnson at the end, solidified the win at home for Saint John, 133-122.
For his debut game with the Mill Rats, Kenny Jones led the team in scoring with 25 points. Anthony Anderson played a huge game, getting a double double with 20 points and 14 assists while Steve Deluca contributed 20 points.
Leading the Miracles was Oliver McNally with 28 while Devin Sweetney had 26.
Head Coach David Cooper comments on the debut of Kenny Jones in tonight's game: "Kenny Jones brought a lot to us tonight. He can score down low and give us a low post presence. He opens up the floor which can make a lot of things happen for us."
This win comes after a losing stretch for the Mill Rats and the pressure is on. Coach Cooper needs to make a couple of cuts this week. "I'm really proud with the effort they put in tonight - the guys have been working hard in practice. Taneiko Robinson came out to play and Kenny Jones - what can I say about him - he came here for one reason. That kid's a beast."
The Mill Rats are back in action tomorrow night to host the Windsor Express at Harbour Station. Game time is 7pm. The Mill Rats also host their VIP Event for season ticket holders and sponsors before the game at Harbour Station from 4-6pm.
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