Hamilton rallies to pick up 6th straight with narrow win over Niagara

Lindell Wigginton capped off a game-high 25-point performance with the game-sealing free-throw, as the Hamilton Honey Badgers defeated the Niagara River Lions 78-76 for their sixth straight win on Sunday, in Hamilton.

Hamilton (6-1) came into this game riding a five-game winning streak but looked flat for stretches of the game, coming out of the first and third quarters down 10 points and being down by as many as 17 points in the third frame.

Niagara (3-3) came off a big win, ending Fraser Valley’s undefeated start to the season with a 21-point victory on Thursday and looked to put an end to one more streak for the week.

The River Lions started out the game on a 10-0 run within the first three minutes and 16 seconds of the game. Hamilton slowly came around to putting points on the board but Niagara kept its foot on the gas and came out of the first quarter up 21-11.

WATCH | Hamilton come back to win 6th in a row over Niagara:

Lindell Wigginton was clutch from the free throw line to finish Hamilton’s 78-76 win over Niagara. 0:50

The Honey Badgers woke up a bit starting out the second quarter with a 6-0 run behind three-pointers from Wigginton and Thomas Kennedy. As the quarter wore on, Hamilton managed to keep it close but never grabbed the lead from Niagara or tied the game, and went into halftime down 37-32.

In the third frame, Niagara smelt opportunity and ran with it. After Hamilton opened the quarter scoring five straight points and tying the game, the River Lions went on a 17-0 run within a five minute period, going up 54-37.

After finally being able to make a basket, by way of a Kennedy dunk, the Honey Badgers were able to claw back to an eight-point deficit, and eventually go into the fourth quarter down 58-48.

In the fourth, Hamilton dug deep and fought back, finding a way to not let Niagara get too far in front and continue to break down the River Lions’ lead. Outscoring Niagara 18-11 prior to the Elam Ending period, Hamilton found themselves down three, needing to score 12 points to win before the River Lions could score nine.

Down 76-74, the key moment of the game came down to Jean-Victor Mukama making a clutch three-pointer, to top off a 16-point performance and put the Honey Badgers up one. Following an Xavier Sneed missed three-point attempt, Javin Delaurier fouled Wigginton on the next possession, and with only one free throw needed to put the game away, Wigginton came through and capped off another comeback win for Hamilton. 

Sneed led the way for Niagara with 20 points, with Daniel Mullings adding 13 points.

Hamilton will go up against the Edmonton Stingers next on July 15, while Niagara will next play July 17 in a rematch against the Honey Badgers. 

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