River Lions lose 122-104 to Edge to finish three-game weekend 1-2
Written by: Zach Dadson
It was a tale of two halves for the second home game in a row on Sunday afternoon as the Niagara River Lions dropped a Central Division matchup 122-104 to the St. John’s Edge.
The River Lions, looking to get revenge for a 99-97 loss to the Edge on Friday night, started the game with a much better pace on offense on Sunday afternoon but weren’t able to establish a lead.
Niagara finished the first quarter tied with the Edge 25-25 and both teams went into halftime tied 55-55.
Unfortunately for the home team, the tide turned in the third quarter when the Edge outscored the River Lions 37-24. The 13-point lead proved unsurmountable and Niagara finished their three-game weekend with a 1-2 record.
The offensive success Niagara had in the first half came through a successful inside-out approach focused on getting the team’s forwards involved.
“That was kind of the game plan, to go inside a little and try to play inside out and give them a different look.” Centre Carl Hall said after the game.
Hall finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
While the offense was clicking, it was the defense that left room for improvement.
“We didn’t get stops, plain and simple.” Jaylon Tate said about his team’s defensive play against the Edge.
“We’ve got to get better on the defensive end. I think we did a pretty good job in the first half but in the second half we didn’t get it done.”
Tate scored 19 points and dished out 10 assists in his second game back since missing Friday night’s game with muscle soreness.
The River Lions squandered a first-half lead in their loss to St. John’s on Friday night and Sunday afternoon’s loss was the second home game in a row they’ve been outscored in the second half.
“We’re not making anything difficult on difficult on people.” Coach Raso said when asked to evaluate his team’s performance.
“They’re catching it in their comfort zone, they’re catching it with time and they’re catching it within they’re range.” Raso continued.
The Edge went 17-32 from three-point range and shot 57% from the field.
Guillaume Payen Boucard led the River Lions in scoring Sunday afternoon with 31 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block.
Payen Boucard averaged 32.5 points per game in the two games against the Edge at the Meridian Centre this weekend.
It may be a week full of defensive adjustments for the River Lions as they have a seven-day break in the schedule before returning to the Lions’ Den on Sunday January 28 when they take on the KW Titans at 2:00pm.