The Halifax Rainmen didn’t need to rely on their bench on Friday, but that changed in a big way yesterday.
The Rainmen extended their winning streak to five games yesterday with a 107-99 victory over the host Manchester Millrats in New Hampshire, moving to within a half game of first place in the Premier Basketball League.
Unlike Friday’s 102-92 home win over the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry — in which their starters scored 87 points — the Rainmen needed a spark from their bench and got it from Jevohn Shepherd, Adris DeLeon and Garry Gallimore.
“They changed the game for us,” said Rainmen head coach Les Berry.
“It was huge. They played with a lot of energy, played excellent defence and scored at key times.”
That trio combined for 32 points, dropping 26 in the second half and a good chunk of those in the fourth quarter.
The Rainmen trailed 84-83 with 9:48 remaining, but grabbed the lead 19 seconds later on a jump shot by DeLeon. That basket was the start of a 24-15 run to end the game.
Shepherd, who didn’t play a minute Friday, had 14 points, while DeLeon had 10 and Gallimore eight.
Guard Tony Bennett had a team-high 25 points; Eric Crookshank had yet another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds; and Gary Ervin had 12 points and four assists.
The Rainmen haven’t lost since their season-opener on Jan. 3 and take their hot streak on the road against the first-place Puerto Rico Capitanes (5-0) on Thursday.
“Our guys have been putting everything out there on the floor,” said Berry.
“That’s the only way you’re going to win in this league.”
Marlowe Currie, who the Rainmen acquired from the Millrats last Thursday, did not play on the weekend.