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St. John’s suffers last-second loss to Hurricanes after overcoming 24-point deficit
It was the Hall of Fame football coach Bill Parcells who once famously coined the phrase, “You are what your record says you are.”
So, with that in mind, we can say with absolute certainty the St. John’s Edge, with a heart-breaking 112-111 loss to the Halifax Hurricanes Sunday afternoon, fall to 1-5 on the 2018-19 National Basketball League of Canada season, and last place in the Central Division.
And while a fact is a fact, if you consider four of the Edge’s five losses — we’ll put aside St. John’s 112-100 setback to the Moncton Magic at home last Sunday — you’ll see the second-year squad has lost the four games by a combined total of 14 points.
And while those games have been close — two losses by four points, and one by five — they don’t touch Sunday’s outcome at the Scotiabank Centre in downtown Halifax.
Trailing at the half 58-42, and 86-67 after three quarters, the Edge mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to overcome a 24-point deficit, only to have the game decided by the final possession.
With 32 seconds left in regulation time, Maurice Jones finished off a layup and made the ensuing foul shot to give the Edge their first lead of the game, 109-107.
With 14 seconds remaining, Gabe Freeman came back to haunt his former teammates — Freeman was signed by the Edge in the off-season, only to be cut two days prior to their first game — with a three-pointer for a 110-109 lead.
It stood that way when, with four seconds remaining, Keith Wright Jr. grabbed an offensive rebound and made good on the layup for a 111-110 lead.
Following a Halifax timeout, the Hurricanes’ Cliff Clinkscales inbounded the ball in the St. John’s end of the court to Kedar Edwards. Edwards drove to the basket, passed to Tyrone Watson, whose floater dropped in as the buzzer sounded.
Freeman, the former NBL Canada MVP and playoff MVP, saved his best performance so far this season for his former team, scoring 24 points and pulling down 145 rebounds.
Jones led the Edge with 30 points, 18 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Dez Lee scored 24 points and collected eight rebounds.
Carl English scored 16 points, Wright had 15 and Junior Cardougan netted 13.
That game came on the heels of an 80-75 setback to the Magic in Moncton Friday. It was the third straight loss to Moncton after dropping a pair in a homestand last Friday and Sunday.
Wright and Jones both scored 14 points for the Edge, who led 41-39 at halftime. Wright recorded his first double-double of the season, pulling down 14 rebounds.
English scored 12 points, with Lee and newcomer Chadrack Lufile both netting 11.
The Edge take on the Cape Breton Highlanders Tuesday night at Centre 200 in Sydney, N.S.
After that, the Edge return home for four games against the Island Storm from P.E.I. Dec. 14-16 and Sudbury Five Dec. 18-91.