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Worcester Wolves 79-65 Bristol Flyers

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2014 07:59pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves secured their fifth win on the bounce when defeating Bristol Flyers 79-65 to stay at the top of the British Basketball League. 

Last month the Flyers upset their University of Worcester hosts to progress to the semi-finals of the BBL Cup, led by a 32 point-performance from Doug Herring. On Friday Herring was absent through injury, but Flyers still had other players able to step forward and, at times, threaten another surprise.

18-year-old guard Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye most caught the eye with an enthusiastic 18-point performance, but he was also supported by a trio of double-digit scorers. By contrast it was left to experienced hands, Alex Owumi and Chavis Holmes, to contribute two-thirds of Wolves’ points.

As has so often been the case this season, Worcester struggled to settle into an early rhythm. Only Holmes and Robert Thurman were able to score points from the field during the opening quarter, as their side limped to a 12-17 deficit.

It was a couple of minutes into the second period before Wolves could drag back the arrears, drawing level at 19-19 after Owumi began a run of four first-half three-pointers. A 23-8 tear over the remainder of the half took Wolves clear at 42-27.

A nifty Thurman sky-hook and a lay-in from Holmes stretched the lead to 48-29, before a spell of ill-discipline brought Bristol back into the match. Thurman was awarded a technical foul for comments made to the referees, and forward Jamal Williams found himself retired to the bench after carelessly picking up his fourth and fifth offences within ten seconds of each other.

In the final minute of the third quarter Remi Dibo excited home fans with a three-pointer to bring up a 60-42 advantage, but then blotted his copybook by following Thurman’s example of disputing officials’ decisions. After being adjudged for successive fouls on his opponents, Dibo was unable to suppress his disagreement, having to be escorted off the court and back to the locker rooms. A series of made free-throws and an outrageous buzzer-beater from Lautier-Ogunleye pulled matters all the way back to 60-49.

Lautier-Ogunleye sank another triple as the last period began, bringing the scores worryingly close. With three minutes remaining, at 70-63, the outcome was still not settled. However, the calm leadership of Holmes finally decided matters with a burst of steals and clever assists for Thurman to convert into points.

Though pleased to get the win, Wolves’ coach Paul James was unhappy about aspects of his team’s performance, saying: “We didn’t flow offensively. We were sloppy. Bristol were there to be blown away, but some of our players lost their discipline. We don’t need it, we don’t want it, we’re better than that.”

Next up is a visit this Sunday to Glasgow Rocks, who include ex-Worcester favourite Tommy Freeman in their line-up. “They have a lot of experience in their team, with Great Britain International Kieron Achara and, of course, Tommy Freeman. It’ll be nice to see Tommy again but we obviously need to stop him and Achara from having big nights,” added James.

The following Sunday Wolves are on the road again, at Plymouth Raiders, before returning to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday 12 December to host Sheffield Sharks. 

Photo: File pic

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