Register

Wolves carve up at Christmas

Worcester Wolves 102-72 Birmingham Knights

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2013 08:28am
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
52c27ff8ad8fe.jpg
Share |

Saturday 28 December 2013

Worcester Wolves 102-72 Birmingham Knights

Worcester Wolves carved up their Christmas opponents, the Birmingham Knights, at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday.

As expected against a team struggling in their debut season in the British Basketball League, Wolves encountered little difficulty, leading from start to finish, ending up with the 102-72 victory and entering 2014 sitting proudly at the top of the table. This latest win was the fifth in a row for Worcester and the fourth time during that run in which a century of points has been accumulated.

Almost three minutes had elapsed before Knights troubled the scoreboard with a basket from their American guard Brent Benson. By this time Wolves had already taken seven points. The lead was further extended by a confident triple from forward Kalil Irving and a score from Wolves stalwart Zaire Taylor.

Taylor then entertained a near-capacity home crowd with a behind-the-back pass for Andreas Schreiber to lay home and take matters to 14-2 after five minutes.

Onetime Wolves guard Michael Gayle was the player who finally managed to double the visitor’s points tally, and ignite some respectability towards the 27-16 first quarter scoreline.

Knights’ brief revival continued into the second period as a score apiece for Gayle and Benson, and five points for emerging English forward Joshua Rolls-Tyson, helped close the gap to 35-26. However, normal business was resumed when Wolves’ Alex Owumi intercepted a Rolls-Tyson pass and allowed Calvin Morant-Hudson to open his account.

Daniel Belgrave was the next person to grab his first points of the evening, and also accepted a long assist from Taylor to re-establish the host’s dominance at 47-28 with three minutes remaining in the first half.

A 55-35 interval lead was quickly added to when Will Creekmore rebounded an Irving miss and unselfishly presented the ball for his fellow big-man Schreiber to put through the hoop. Recently-returned Kai Williams pinged home a couple of three-pointers to maintain the Wolves’ cushion at 76-55 entering the final quarter.

A 15-4 tear over the first five minutes of the final period, including nine points for Owumi, signalled the last of any resistance from Birmingham, prompting Coach Paul James to withdraw his starters. Taylor left the court just shy of a highly-impressive triple-double of statistics, tallying ten points, serving up a whopping fifteen assists to his colleagues and snatching seven rebounds. Creekmore took his seat after registering his by-now customary double-double, with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Owumi sat down on 24 points.

Belgrave and Morant-Hudson took their chance to shine by continuing the barrage of outside shooting as Worcester sauntered to a comfortable triumph.

James was satisfied with the night’s work, saying: “We did what we had to do, performing professionally against an improving Birmingham side. We saw some great individual performances from Alex, Zaire and Will, and it was a chance for me to give extended court time to other players.

“It was a great way to end the year and enter the new one, undefeated through December and going into 2014 at the top of the table.”

Referring to Taylor’s near triple-double of statistics James joked that his playmaker had to bear responsibility for just falling short of the accolade, saying: “Yes Zaire did have a bit of a joke with me about taking him off, but if he wanted his triple-double then he should have achieved it in the time he got.”

Other impressive performers for Wolves were Belgrave and Williams, with 14 points apiece, both season-high displays. Benson top-scored for Birmingham with 18 points, closely-supported by 16 points from Rolls-Tyson.

Wolves will open 2014 with a trip to Manchester Giants on Sunday 05 January, before returning home to face Durham Wildcats at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday 10 January.

British Basketball League

 

 

 

Standings as at Saturday 28-December-13

 

 

Played

Win

Loss

Points

1.     Worcester Wolves

16

13

3

26

2.     One Health Sharks Sheffield

15

12

3

24

3.     Leicester Riders

13

11

2

22

4.     Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

14

11

3

22

5.     London Lions

15

9

6

18

6.     Plymouth University Raiders

15

8

7

16

7.     Glasgow Rocks

14

7

7

14

8.     Cheshire Phoenix

15

7

8

14

9.     Durham Wildcats

14

5

9

10

10.   Manchester Giants

15

5

10

10

11.   Birmingham Knights

15

0

15

0

12.   Surrey United

15

0

15

0

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus