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Worcester Wolves 70-77 London Lions

Last Updated: Nov 9, 2015 07:51pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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The day after bonfire night saw few sparks from Worcester Wolves as they were tumbled out of the BBL Cup by London Lions. 

Wolves trailed for large periods of the match, taking until three minutes from the end to edge 68-67 in front. Just a solitary basket was scored by the hosts after that, while Lions were allowed to put up ten points in reply, leading to the final 70-77 outcome.

Perris Blackwell continued his fine run of recent form in accumulating 27 points and 14 rebounds, but, aside from 13 points from fellow big man Ben Eaves, no other Wolves player was able to break into double figures. 

The evening began brightly enough with Worcester guards Ashton Khan and Jay Couisnard connecting from the outside, and Blackwell and Eaves beavering away close to the hoop. Josh Cameron froze his defenders with a side-to-side dance before swishing the ball home for his first University of Worcester Arena points, aiding a 25-21 first quarter lead.

Matters stayed tight until half-time approached and lapses in concentration permitted an outburst of scoring from former Worcester stalwart Jamal Williams. After Blackwell had tipped in a Cameron miss to level the sides at 35-35, Williams was left open to sink a three-pointer. A minute later another triple found the target, with Williams’ hat-trick of long-range successes finalising London’s 39-48 interval advantage.

A single Khan basket in each of the third and fourth quarters would turn out to be Wolves’ only backcourt production for the remainder of the game. Blackwell would continue to pound away inside, converting a high percentage of his possessions, but no other offensive threat would manage to surface.

It was Pavol Losonsky on his return from injury who gave Worcester their late lead, before their offence again stagnated. Great Britain under-20 International Nick Lewis tallied seven points in the last minute and a half to propel Lions into the semi-finals of the competition.

Wolves’ coach Paul James did not hold back in expressing his disappointment at what took place, saying: “It was a very poor team performance. It’s a game we could have won, and should have won. If you don’t show up to play you get beat.”

When asked about Blackwell’s double-double display, James replied: “We can’t rely on one player. There has to be five or six players showing up at both the offensive and defensive ends, or we lose.”

Wolves will have a chance to make amends with a doubleheader of action next weekend. Cheshire Phoenix visit the University of Worcester Arena this Friday, followed by a trip to Plymouth Raiders the next day.

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