Story by: Austin Deuville
The battle of the 506 remains competitive. Moncton and Saint John have traded punches this season like heavy weight boxers. However, the Riptide took full control of this one early in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Magic 32-15. After surviving a one point victory over the Island Storm on February 24th, the Magic couldn't find any momentum offensively, losing to the Saint John Riptide 96-76.
76 points is the lowest point total the Magic have been held to all season. Although on a positive note, fans saw productive nights from Corey Allmond and Gentrey Thomas. Allmond finished with 20 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. While Thomas (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals) was back to playing his style of basketball, including a perfectly timed alley-oop pass to the high flying Marcus Lewis.
With Billy White (ankle) and Nick Evans (wrist) sidelined, Freddie McSwain Jr. was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time as a professional. The former Indiana Hoosier seized the opportunity by scoring a career high 21 points, earning him Player of the Game honours. The athletic forward played a game high 44 minutes and added 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocked shots. McSwain Jr. continues to impress in his development as a member of the Moncton Magic.
TJ Maston led the way for the Saint John Riptide, scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds, while shooting 82% from the field in 26 minutes of action. The consistent Frank Bartley recorded 19 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Bryce Washington finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. While, Darnell Landon (12 points and 3 steals) was a spark off the Riptide bench.
The Magic still hold a regular season series advantage over the 506 rivaled Riptide 3-2. The battle of the 506 will return on March 6th at Harbour Station, Saint John.
The Moncton Magic (20-11) have lost only two games at home this season. They will look to remain solid, as they return home to the Avenir Centre this Sunday, March 3rd to take on the KW Titans at 2pm. This will be the Titans first appearance at the Avenir Centre this season.
Tickets available online at: www.ticketmaster.ca
Subaru of Moncton Box office:1-506-962-4545
About MONCTON MAGIC Headquartered in Moncton, NB, the MONCTON MAGIC is a professional basketball organization that operates under a licensing agreement with the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC). The team will play its games in a two-conference league with clubs located in the Provinces of Ontario and Atlantic Canada.