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Worcester Wolves 108-92 Surrey Scorchers

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2015 11:03am
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves blasted to a century of points in overcoming Surrey Scorchers at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday to maintain third-place in the British Basketball League, 

A free-flowing contest saw Wolves race to a 21-point lead just after half-time, before Surrey dug their heels in to slash the deficit to just five points towards the end of the evening. A pulsating 15 points in the final quarter from recent signing Orlan Jackman proved vital in helping the hosts to ease back out to the 108-92 victory.

As well as Jackman’s game-high 27 points, there were hefty scoring contributions from Pavol Losonsky with 26 points and Javier Mugica whose 21 points included a stunning haul of six three-pointers.

Already missing injured centre Perris BlackwelI, there was soon further disruption to the Wolves’ lineup when influential guard Jay Couisnard was compelled to take an early seat on the bench after picking up a trio of fouls. Nevertheless, other players showed their ability to compensate.

Jackman rose high to block a Surrey shot, setting up Mugica’s first basket. The Spanish forward then intercepted a bad pass to lay on a score for Losonsky before rattling home a double of three-pointers to move Wolves 18-7 ahead.

A 32-19 opening quarter lead widened further as Mugica continued his long-range accuracy and Losonsky was able to step his way to the hoop on multiple occasions. Ashton Khan joining the scoring frenzy with a quartet of baskets, helping to establish a healthy 55-39 interval advantage.

After the break a series of careless possessions allowed Surrey a way back into contention. KC Miller pounced twice and when former Worcester big man Andreas Schreiber converted to close the margin to 60-51, Wolves’ coach Paul James was calling for a time-out.

Entering the final period the match was still poised at 73-62. Eight more points from Miller and increasing hesitation from the Wolves led to a worrying 86-81 score-line with four minutes to play.

However, within the following minute calm was restored when the re-introduced Couisnard laid on a neat pass for Jackman to float home a triple and was then able to do likewise when Jackman returned the favour, pushing Wolves back into a game-winning double-digit advantage.

Paul James acknowledged his team’s lapses but still applauded the victory, saying: “We had an excellent first half. Unfortunately we didn’t emulate this after the interval. We became passive defensively and didn’t move the ball enough which allowed Surrey a way back in. Overall though, I can’t be too disappointed – we got the win and we broke a hundred points for the first time this year.

“We had some great contributions – Dizzy (Lufadeju) and Jordan (Dawes) both gave us some good energy. Javier and Pavol got significant points and Orlan showed everyone that he’s a big-time player.”

Wolves will return to action soon after Christmas to host London Lions at the University of Worcester Arena on Sunday 27 December (tip off 3pm). James gave his thoughts on the match up, stating: “London are always a tough opponent. They should be at full strength. They’ve got a couple of former Worcester favourites in the Williams brothers and of course they’ve now just signed Alex Owumi.

“Having said that, we look forward to the challenge and I’m sure we can cause them as many problems as they can cause us.”

Pressed on what Wolves’ fans might see from the three-year stalwart who captained the side to the BBL Playoffs and Trophy double in 2014, James added: “Alex is a fierce competitor – we all know that. I’m sure he’ll want to put on a show, but we have to remember that Lions have depth throughout - we’re not going to focus on a single player.

“We just need to prepare, make sure we’re ready and that whatever we do, we do it well.”

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