Rainmen Drop Home-and-Home to Open Season

The Halifax Rainmen have opened the inaugural season of the National Basketball League of Canada with two consecutive losses. Both came at the hands of the London Lightning, first in London on Thursday (118-110) and then in Halifax’s home opener Saturday evening (109-90)

On both occasions the Rainmen were able to stick with the talented team from Ontario, but were let down by an especially bad quarter. Thursday it was the third when they allowed the Lightning to drop 43 points. Saturday evening it was less a case of allowing too many points, but not being able to score enough. The Rainmen could muster only 15 points in the second quarter and London never looked back.

It sounds like an obvious statement, but scoring was the difference in the home opener in Halifax. The Lightning seemed to score at will at times during the game, finishing the game with 48.7 field goal shooting percentage. Compare that with the Rainmen’s 36.4% and it’s not hard to figure the outcome.

The Rainmen’s low shooting percentage is tied to the fact that many of their shots were coming from the perimeter. There was little in the way of a low post game for Halifax, and the few times they scored close to the basket was on slashing drives.

Starting point guard Taliek Brown led the way for the Rainmen with 21 points. Rodney Buford has a good game going, but ran into foul trouble early in the second half and had to spend most of the third quarter on the bench. He had 16 at the half and finished the game with 20.

The Lightning were led by Gabe Freeman who had 21 points to go along with his 15 rebounds. Guard DeAnthony Bowden was London’s leading scorer at the half, but left the game early due to what a appeared a sprained ankle after diving for a lose ball. Taylor King had a game high 22 points and Tim Ellis (17) and Brandon Dean (15) made ti five Lightning players in double digit scoring.

One positive was the site of former Saint Mary’s Husky Joey Haywood making his debut for the team. Haywood who just signed with the team on Friday, had four points and three assists in just under nine minutes of play. He seemed to have of bit of energy late in the game when the result was all but decided.

Halifax will get their next chance to get into the win column Thursday evening when they’ll welcome new regional rivals the Moncton Miracles to the Metro Centre.

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