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Wright-Foreman sets CEBL record in Sea Bears win over River Lions

Winnipeg Sea Bears Justin Wright-Foreman - CEBL

Justin Wright-Foreman’s 22 points and CEBL single-game record 16 assists led the Winnipeg Sea Bears (6-5) to their third consecutive win with a decisive 94-82 victory over the Niagara River Lions (6-4) on Thursday night.

Wright-Foreman, who also had six rebounds in the win, waited until the picture-perfect moment to make history. Tied for the previous league record of 15 assists (Marek Klassen) and Winnipeg one point away from the Target Score of 93, he dished the ball underneath to Emmanuel Akot who delivered the game-winning layup and a new league record for Wright-Foreman in dramatic fashion.

Despite his record and overall outstanding play, Wright-Foreman remained humble when asked about his performance against Niagara.

“I don’t know if I played my best game,” Wright-Foreman said. “I feel like I have areas where I need to improve. I’m proud of the records, but I’m more proud of my teammates for stepping up and helping me. In all ways, not just on the court, but just mentally and physically, whatever I need they’re there.

“So, the 16 assists are because of them,” he added.

The Sea Bears improved to 5-1 at home and extended their winning streak to three as they were firing on all cylinders against the River Lions.

Just like their previous game, Winnipeg’s bench also came up big, outscoring Niagara’s bench 48-21.

“I absolutely loved the game, because I have so many guys make solid contributions,” head coach Mike Taylor said about how important the bench is to the team. “The bench points are important, but it was the bench defence as well. Really pleased with the team effort -- this was about as good a team effort as you can have. Five players in double figures.”

Despite being down by as much as eight early in the first, Winnipeg was able to find their footing and battle back to end the quarter leading 21-20.

The second quarter was all Winnipeg, as they shot 53 per cent from beyond the arc and the bench outscored Niagara’s 30-4. The Sea Bears led 47-37 heading into the half. 

“We expect contributions from everyone, and that’s just me holding everyone accountable as well,” Wright-Foreman said about the benches production tonight. “We had big minutes from Chad, Akot. It didn’t matter, all the way down the line. Big, big contributions from Mason off the bench. We really appreciate them, and they did a great job today.”

Niagara couldn’t find an answer to Winnipeg, as the Sea Bears kept their pressure on throughout the second half and finished with a 94-82 victory.

Niagara head coach Victor Raso vocalized his disappointment after the game.

“I’m disappointed in our performance, honestly,” Raso said. “I kind of blame myself, I think I should’ve been a little harder on the guys. We had a tough injury week, but when we got out here our approach wasn’t correct and I’m upset with them for how we approached the game, but I blame myself more than them.”

What’s next for both teams?

The Winnipeg Sea Bears look to extend their win streak to four when they host the Edmonton Stingers this Wednesday. As for the Niagara River Lions, they look to bounce back when they take on the Saskatchewan Rattlers this Saturday.