By Vincent M. Williams Sports Journalist (FibeTV1 Sports)
HALIFAX, NS. - Antoine Mason explodes for 43 points on 14 for 19 from the field, including 13 for 17 from the free throw line, as the Halifax Hurricanes presented by Eastlink defeat the Island Storm 120-118 in a shootout at the Scotiabank Centre. Mason on Killam Apartments REIT night would come up one point shy of matching his franchise record 44 points in a losing effort to the Sudbury Five last month.
The Hurricanes and Storm would shoot extraordinary in the opening quarter. Mason would lead all scorers with 16 points and was perfect from the field, shooting six for six from the field, including two for two from three-point range. Halifax would shoot 12 for 20 as a team but would trail 31-30 after one. The Storm were led by Alex Campbell's 10 points, who was also perfect from the field, four for four and two for two from the free throw line.
In the second quarter, the Hurricanes would outscore the Storm by 12 in the frame. Ta'Quan Zimmerman would pick up the offense where Mason left off with 10 points on four for six shooting from the field and two for four from three-point range, coming off the bench. Halifax shot a blistering 15 for 21 for 71 percent as a team from the floor, and took a 69-58 lead into the half time break.
The Storm would put the clamps on the Hurricanes defensively, holding Halifax to 19 points on five for 18 shooting at 27 percent for the quarter and out shooting 13 for 23 as a team to get them right back into the game. The Island would use balance scoring from their starters posting 31 points and would lead 89-88 heading to the fourth quarter, erasing a 11 point deficit.
Ta'Quan Zimmerman would shine in the fourth quarter, coming off an injury that sat him out of the team's victory over the St. John's Edge, Zimmerman would score 14 points in the quarter, including four three-pointers. The first one trailing by four under three minutes, then tying the game at 113-113 with 2:26 remaining in regulation. That would set the stage for a crazy finish, after the Hurricanes took a one point lead off a Mason jumper with twenty seven seconds left. CJ Washington is fouled by Johnathan Loyd, Washington would make both free throws to push the lead up to three. Loyd would get fouled on the next Storm possession, and go to the line to make one of two, Hurricanes up two with five seconds on the clock. The Storm would have one last chance to force overtime, but Loyd would miss the shot.
Halifax would shoot 51 percent on the night, including 13 for 33 from three-point range, and 23 for 28 from the free throw line as a team. Zimmerman would finish with 24 points, other notable statistics, Cliff Clinkscales dished out 10 assists on the night. Alex Campbell was the high man for the Storm posting 29 points, as the Island finished with seven players scoring in double digits.
Halifax's next game will be in Sudbury to take on the Five, Friday night, February 7th, and then finish up a two game Central Division road trip on Sunday afternoon, February 9th versus the London Lightning, before returning to the Scotiabank Centre Thursday night, February 13th when they will take on the Windsor Express sponsored by Scotia Square.