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Wolves See Off Glasgow Rocks

Worcester Wolves 92-85 Glasgow Rocks

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2015 01:12pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves put forward a confident display to see off Glasgow Rocks 92-85 at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.

Both teams were forced to juggle their resources during a closely-refereed contest but it was the Wolves who showed greater depth, with a couple of their squad, Ashton Khan and Javier Mugica, having breakout offensive performances. Khan tallied his biggest numbers of the season with 14 points, while Mugica registered his first double-figure return with a highly-impressive 26 points.

Buoyed by his inclusion in the latest British Basketball League Team of the Week, it was Perris Blackwell who set the Wolves‘ side of the scoreboard ticking. Two quick fouls committed by Pavol Losonsky allowed his replacement Ben Eaves an early entry onto the court and he responded with a trio of baskets in an opening quarter that ended 18-19.

A deuce of three-point successes for Glasgow guard Jonny Bunyan prompted Worcester Coach Paul James to call for a settling time out with three minutes of the second period elapsed, and his team trailing 24-30. Blackwell increased his presence to grab several easy put-backs and Mugica stepped forward to sink a three-pointer, helping the hosts into a 43-40 interval lead.

The scores stayed close throughout the third quarter, with both teams affected by foul trouble. Losonsky, Eaves and guard Jay Couisnard found themselves all just one offence away from disqualification, with Rocks’ forwards Will Hall and Marcus Ware     similarly hampered.

Ahead at 62-57 entering the final period, Wolves’ task got a little easier when Ware was the first retiree to the bench after a clumsy push on Losonsky. Mugica was on target from outside the arc, Khan dribbled coast-to-coast to place the ball home and Rock’s Coach Sterling Davis had to leap to his feet to urgently call for a break in proceedings.

However, there was no respite. Recognising that Hall was teetering on the edge of exclusion, Mugica was able to repeatedly back his opponent down for uncontested lay-ups. A near-capacity crowd erupted in cheers when Eaves cheekily passed the ball to Blackwell for a thunderous two-handed slam to ice the victory.

Paul James was thrilled by his team’s display, saying: “I’m delighted. We traded buckets in the first-half but then we settled down and made it easier for ourselves. We are showing signs of becoming a really good basketball club.” 

Alongside the contributions of Mugica and Khan, Blackwell had another standout performance with 21 points and 17 rebounds. “Perris did well again, Ashton did good things at crucial points and Javi was terrific. He was already contributing with plenty of rebounds and assists but I asked him to be more aggressive with his own shots and he certainly responded,” added James.

Referring to next Friday when Wolves will return to the University of Worcester Arena to greet Leeds Force, James remarked: “Leeds have had a couple of recent wins so we will need to be on our game. We will keep on continuing to improve.”

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