Lightning Barely Drop Season Opener 107-106

Former NBA draft pick, Royce White joins the London Lightning, December 8, 2016. (Photo by Miranda Chant, Blackburn News.)

The London Lightning dominated the first half of their season opener, but could not close the deal Boxing Day night.

The Lightning outscored the Niagara River Lions 57-43 in the first half at Budweiser Gardens, but the Lions roared back and scraped off a 107-106 win over the Lightning on opening night.

Julian Boyd led London with 20 points with nine rebounds, logging 30 minutes of playing time.  Garrett Williamson contributed 19 points with seven rebounds.  The defensive standout for London was offseason acquisition Royce White, who had 13 boards while sinking 11 points.

Tyshawn Patterson was the scoring leader for the River Lions, with 25 points, including four out of seven three-pointers sunk.  Logan Stutz had 24 points and led Niagara with seven rebounds.

London completely controlled the tempo of the game in the first quarter, outscoring Niagara 35-17, and have a 14 point lead by halftime.  The River Lions made the adjustments and came out swinging in the third quarter, leading London in that quarter 34-20 to tie it at 77.  The River Lions were able to pull ahead far enough in the dying minutes of regulation to overcome a late London challenge, prevailing by a point.

The Lightning travel to Niagara Friday night to complete the home-and-away series to start the regular season.