The St. John’s Edge started well, but then stalled in a 116-103 loss to the London Lightning in National Basketball League of Canada play Thursday night in southern Ontario.
The Edge scored a whopping 34 points in the first quarter and led by seven points after the opening 12 minutes, but a 16-point second quarter put the visitors on a slippery slope — they were outscored 89-69 by the Lightning the rest of the way.
The loss denied St. John’s (16-10) a chance to vault past London into top spot overall in the league. Instead, the Lightning (17-8) increased their first-place cushion.
Carl English led the Edge with 29 points, while Charles Hinkle added 18 points. But Hinkle was hampered by foul trouble; he had four fouls just three minutes into the second half and played only nine minutes over the last two quarters.
Ransford Brempong had 13 points for St. John’s, while newcomer forward Ryan Reid had 10 points and seven rebounds in his first-ever NBLC game, but he was in foul trouble, too and was out of the game midway through the final frame.
Kyle Johnson had 25 points off the bench for London, while Garrett Williamson and Ryan Anderson chipped in with 17 each for the Lightning, who were playing their fifth straight game without reigning league MVP and top scorer Royce White. However, before Thursday’s game, the Lightning announced that White — who was away on a family matter — would rejoin the team on the weekend.
Neither side shot particularly well Thursday. The Lightning hit on just over 42 per cent of their shots and the Edge was slightly better at 43 per cent, and both struggled mightily on three-point attempts. The diifference was in volume — the Lightning sent up 92 shots, compared to 79 for St. John’s. Another discrepancy came in turnovers. London gave up just seven, compared to 16 for the Edge.
St. John’s will play the second game of what will be a four-game road trip Saturday night in St. Catharines, Ont.., where they will face the Niagara River Lions.