Rainmen Hand Rochester Their First “L” of the Season – RAINMEN 102, RAZORSHARKS 99

Rainmen Record:  6W-2L

The Halifax Rainmen made a statement Sunday afternoon by giving the undefeated Rochester Razorsharks their first defeat of the season.  Halifax put together one of the team’s best performances against the defending champs and held off the pesky Razorsharks 102-99.  It was a truly physical matchup between the two teams, so much so, that both teams got a little chippy before halftime.   

The first half was all Rainmen as everything was just clicking for Halifax.  The Rainmen went on a roll, going on a 10-0 run midway through the second quarter to help build a 17-point lead.  By halftime, the Rainmen were up 52-39.

In the second half, the Razorsharks, as expected, didn’t lay down and made a run with guys like Lincoln Smith and Jerice Crouch leading the way.  Rochester continued to chip away at the Rainmen lead when Randy Gill (a Halifax fan favourite…..sarcasm) made a three ball with 3:42 to play in the fourth to tie the game at 90.  But the Rainmen showed composure and closed out the game.  A big three from Ferguson, a Crookshank dunk along with some clutch free throws from Gary Ervin helped seal the win.  In the closing seconds, with the Rainmen up three, the Razorsharks had an opportunity to send the game to overtime but Jerice Crouch’s three bounced off of the rim.

Desmond Ferguson led the Rainmen with 26 points and Eric Crookshank looked good in his return after missing the last game in Puerto Rico.  Crook had 21 points and worked the glass grabbing 14 rebounds.

For the Razorsharks, Lincoln Smith led the team with 18 pts and last season’s MVP, Keith Friel finished with 12 points.  Former Rainmen, Glen Dandridge and David Bailey were in uniform for Rochester, Dandridge had 12 pts while Bailey had 6 pts and 5 boards.

Shaun “Mavs” Gillis and Ryan Dickison’s Player of the Game
Eric Crookshank 21 pts (10-13 from the field), 14 rebounds, 5 swats and 2 steals

Romy Aquino’s Player of the Game
Desmond “Moneyball” Ferguson  26 pts (5 triples), 5/6 from the FT line

Hat-tip to the Razorsharks
Lincoln Smith 18 pts (8 of 10 from the field), 5 rebounds

Key Notes:

  • Points in the Paint: 52-44 for Halifax
  • Block Party:  Halifax played some great D, and had 10 blocks with 5 coming from Crookshank
  • Rochester Perfect from FT:  Razorsharks made all their free throws as they were 17 for 17 from the line
  • Heated Exchange:  Double technicals were issued to both Keith Friel and Tony Bennett as both had some heated words right before the halftime which caused both benches to clear as the referees had to separate the two teams
  • Undefeated at Home:  Halifax continues to roll at home and now have a 4-0 home record
  • Canadian Watch: Garry Gallimore 5 pts, 2 rebounds, Jevohn Shepherd 2 pts, 3 rebounds
  • Hoops for Haiti: Halifax team owner, Andre Levingston went head to head against CEO of Eastlink, Lee Bragg in a free throw shootout with proceeds going towards Haiti disaster relief efforts. Hoops for Haiti raised $31,000 for the cause,  you can find out more at rainmenbasketball.ca
  • Most interesting Rainmen intro:  “A man who grew up with the Donair……Halifax’s own, Devon Norris”
  • Watch the replay of Sunday’s game here
  • Great Home Crowd:  The Metro Centre had a good crowd with 4000+; Heckler’s Row was in attendance in their bathrobes and Santa suits
  • New Face to Halifax: Newly acquired Cameron Stanley was in uniform for the Rainmen but was a DNP in this one

I had the opportunity to talk to Scott from the D-League blog, Ridiculous Upside, to get a scouting report on Cameron Stanley.  Here’s his scouting report on former D-Leaguer and newest member of the Halifax Rainmen:

“Cam Stanley’s a left-handed wing that made the Dakota Wizards after showing up and playing well in an open-tryout in Washington, D.C. He probably would’ve made the Wizards, but was released because the Wizards had Romel Beck (the Mexican National Team’s leading scorer) and Renaldo Major (former D-League defensive player of the year and D-League call-up) at his position. While he was in camp, he showed athleticism, a good basketball IQ and turned out he could defend pretty well. He also did a good job of getting to the hoop, but his jump shot mechanics looked a bit shaky.

Prior to the Wizards, I don’t honestly know enough about him. He played three seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to Winthrop for his senior season.”

Be sure to check out Scott’s blog, Ridiculous Upside for all your NBA D-League news/updates.

The Halifax Rainmen take on the 2-5 Buffalo Stampede next Sunday at the Halifax Metro Centre (Game time 2pm AST)

Halifax has a favourable schedule in the month of February with three straight games against teams with losing records (Buffalo, Manchester and Maryland) before facing off against Puerto Rico on the 26th.  What’s you prediction for the next three?  3-0? 2-1? Let us know your thoughts…

Romy Aquino covers the pro basketball game (the Canadian Flavour of the NBA, the PBL’s Halifax Rainmen) from a fan’s perspective.  He also can be found at NBA hoops blogs, Hip Hoop Junkies (A Member of TheScore.com’s Sports Federation) and Hoop Heads North.  Follow him on Twitter: @romyaquino

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