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Miller hits CEBL Record 10 three-pointers to send Stingers past Rattlers

Elijah Miller Edmonton Stingers Elijah Miller - CEBL

Elijah Miller’s CEBL single-game record 10 three-pointers helped the Edmonton Stingers (9-3) hold off the Saskatchewan Rattlers (5-7) in an 88-81 victory on Monday night. 

With the Target Score set at 88 and the score at 79-74, it came down to who wanted it more. 

The shorthanded Rattlers put up an admirable fight, but the Stingers would control the tempo and hit timely shots down the stretch. Despite having a quiet game, Brody Clarke stepped up in the clutch, knocking down a free throw to seal the win. 

Miller finished the game with 30 points, five rebounds and four assists. His 10-for-12 mark from beyond the arc would be the only shots he took in the game, knocking down on an outstanding 83 per cent from the field. 

“It’s amazing, my teammates found me on the floor,” Miller said about his record. “Without all the work I put in at the gym it wouldn’t be possible. Definitely a great thing to set, but we got the win, that’s all that matters. 

“I didn’t even know what the record was,” he added. “I was just trying to make the right play and that was to shoot the open shot.” 

Stingers head coach Jordan Baker spoke about Miller after the game and what it was like to see him make history. 

“He’s a young pro,” Baker said. “He’s still learning some of the things that will make him successful at this level. But I think the biggest thing with his shooting performance tonight was there were no forced shots. There was no hunting, there were no bad shots, everything was open, and he shot it with confidence. 

“All credit to him, and congratulations to him for setting that record,” Baker added. “He’s a guy that we count on, on the defensive end first and foremost, and his leadership within our team has been important. It’s great to see him fill the stat sheet like he did tonight but we still got eight more games for him to continue to push us forward.” 

With the win, the Stingers improve to a CEBL-best 9-3 record on the season and remain in first place in the West. 

The Rattlers came out with a chip on their shoulder and had it rolling offensively, ending off the first quarter with a 25-22 lead – an impressive feat considering they were without Jalen Harris, Elijah Harkless and Maurice Calloo due to injury. 

The Stingers fought right back in the second, locking in defensively and holding the Rattlers to only 10 points scored and 16 per cent shooting from three. This defensive prowess allowed them to gain the upper hand and take a 40-35 lead heading into the half. 

Baker spoke after the game on whether his defensive game plan for the Rattlers changed with the Saskatchewan injuries. 

“You can only defend the guys who are in front of you,” Baker said. “You’re always going to get the opponents best, they had nothing to lose, they came in thinking they were the underdog. For us, we weren’t as good as we wanted to be on the ball to start the game, but we tightened it up when it mattered.” 

Despite jumping out to a double-digit lead in the third, the Stingers couldn’t immediately shake the Rattlers who would cut the lead back to three at 65-62 to end the frame. Edmonton eventually pulled away in the fourth quarter and into Target Time to get the win. 

Rattlers’ head coach Larry Abney reflected on his shorthanded roster and the positives he can take away from the game. “We got some guys that haven't got a lot of opportunity that showed that they can compete,” Abney said. “That was what I needed from them today, to come out and compete and we did that. Obviously, everything lies on the win-loss factor, but I'm really proud of them, and I'm really looking forward to what we have moving forward for the next eight games.” 

What’s next for both teams? 

The Stingers look to extend their win streak to three when they take on the Sea Bears this Wednesday. As for the Rattlers, they look to snap their five-game losing streak when they face off against the Shooting Stars this Friday.