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Another triumph for the Wolves

Plymouth Raiders 63-93 Worcester Wolves

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2014 07:11pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves produced a second half display described by their coach Paul James as stunning, on their way to dismissing Plymouth Raiders 93-63 at their own court on Saturday. This latest triumph is Wolves’ tenth in a row, and cements their place at the top of the British Basketball League.

Trailing by a couple of points at half-time, Worcester blasted to a 31-7 run over the next ten minutes of the evening, demoralising their hosts and killing off the contest.

Former Plymouth big man Andreas Schreiber won the ball from the tip-off and was in the right spot again five minutes later to dunk the ball home, tying the scores at 7-7. Another ex-Raider, Jamal Williams, enjoyed netting against his previous employers, to make it 18-13 in the last minute of the opening quarter.

The second period began with a double of three-pointers from either side. Sam Martin and Louis Sayers were on target for Plymouth, sandwiching replies from Williams and from club captain Alex Owumi. After Kai Williams hit five consecutive points, things looked rosy for Wolves, at 32-24 with seven minutes to go before the interval.

However, the visitors would have to wait until the final minute of the half before they would again trouble the scoreboard. In the meantime Plymouth stepped up a gear, led by their Great Britain forward, Nick George. Only five late points from Daniel Belgrave kept Worcester within touching distance at 39-41.

After the break was where the victors were well and truly decided, as Wolves put a lid over their basket, limiting Raiders to a mere two baskets from the field during the third quarter, and only five more over the entire second half. In the first ten seconds centre Will Creekmore took an assist from Owumi to level matters at 41-41, and watched Owumi nail his own score a moment later. Several offensive rebounds set up a Creekmore triple, helping Wolves race into a 52-43 lead and forcing Plymouth coach Jay Marriott to call for a time out after just three minutes had elapsed.

The lull in play did little to hold back Worcester’s onslaught. Point guard Zaire Taylor rattled off nine quick points to move his side even further in front at 61-44, and Marriott was again calling for mercy. But there was to be no respite, as Owumi floated in from distance and Kalil Irving confidently slammed the ball through the hoop.

As if the 70-48 margin at the close of the third period was not already enough, the Wolves continued to exert their dominance. Williams and Belgrave again shone from outside the arc, while Creekmore and Taylor racked up plenty of points from the free throw line. Still unable to penetrate Worcester’s defensive circle, Raiders would eventually shuffle off court having suffered a 54-22 second-half hammering.

Paul James was delighted to reflect back on what he had seen from his charges, saying: “We started well, but then stepped back in the second quarter. After the break we were simply stunning. It was some of the best defence I’ve seen all season. Players were helping each other out and just so determined to stand firm. By the end we had Plymouth running up blind alleys. We also successfully adjusted on offense, with players sharing the ball more and moving their feet more quickly.”

When asked if he had said anything special during the interval to get his team going, James replied: “I told the players that Plymouth didn’t have a lot to lose, and reminded them that we had a lot riding on the match. I’m thrilled by how the guys responded, showing the sort of spirit I’ve come to expect from them.”

Standout performers for the Wolves were Creekmore who tallied 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Taylor who registered 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. There were only a couple of double-digit scorers in the Plymouth line-up, namely Matt Pressey with 13 points and Gabe Haskins with 11.

Wolves will complete the second part of their weekend doubleheader with a trip to Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday (tip off 5.30pm). After that they will return to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday 14 February to greet Glasgow Rocks.

 

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