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Mill Rats Force Game 3 in Convincing Fashion

March 22, 2013 - National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) - Saint John Riptide News Release

(Saint John, NB): The Saint John Mill Rats, presented by Rogers, won game 2 in playoff action against the Moncton Miracles on home court on Friday evening with a final score of 126-99. With the win, Saint John has tied the best of three series at 1-1. Saturday night will be the final and deciding Game 3 - the winner advances to the NBLC semis!

The crowd of 2000 fans went wild as the Mill Rats opened up with a basket from Steve Deluca. Both teams were basket for basket until 5 minutes into the first when the Mill Rats started to pull ahead after a momentous play from Jerice Crouch to Melvin Council for the pass to Steve Deluca for the basket.

After two consecutive 3 pointers from Crouch and Council, the Mill Rats able to pull ahead by 10 points, leading 25-15 with 3:15 on the clock.

By the end of the first, the Mill Rats had gained a 16 point lead, 34-18, largely due to 3 three pointers from Council, 2 baskets and a free throw. Dropping 14 points in the first quarter, it was bound to be a big game for Council.

The Miracles fought back in second quarter action, but the entire Mill Rats played hard as all team members contributed on the court, putting numbers on the board. With just under 2 minutes before half, a solid offensive rebound from Kenny Jones out to Melvin Council at the three point line, kept the Mill Rats ahead 59-46 over the Miracles.

A three pointer from Moncton's Darrell Wonge, closed the half with a 10 digit spread, Mill Rats still holding the lead, 59-49.

By the end of third quarter, Council had picked up another 13 points. After an And 1 play from Jones with 3 minutes left in the third, the Mill Rats were able to hold their lead, 84-70.

The Miracles kept fighting but the final push for the Mill Rats came with just over 3 minutes left in the game. Stealing the ball, Council passed up the court to Jones for the dunk which was followed up by another steal from Council when the Miracles inbounded the ball and brought it up the court. This time, Council lobbed it up to Jones for an alley oop, giving the Mill Rats a 118-97 lead.

The Mill Rats left nothing on the court tonight at Harbour Station as they added their first playoff win in National Basketball League History with a final score of 126-99.

Head Coach David Cooper, made a bold move inserting Modibo Diarra into the lineup to try and fend off the 6'10, 300 lb+ Isaac Butts. The strategy paid off as Butts was held to 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Leading game scorer was Melvin Council with 37 points and 6 assists. Jerice Crouch dropped 27 while Jones and Deluca each had 27 points each. Jones also got a double double tonight with 13 rebounds. Team veteran Deluca was 7 for 7, dropping 5 three pointers and 2 field goals.

The Mill Rats need your support for the final game 3 which takes place tomorrow night at Harbour Station at 7pm! Come on out and support your team as they battle for the NBLC Championship!

The play-in series is now tied, 1-1 between the Moncton Miracles and the Saint John Mill Rats.

Tickets now on sale at the Harbour Station Box Office (1.506.657.1234) or by visiting

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National Basketball League of Canada Stories from March 22, 2013

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