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Worcester Wolves 93-64 London Lions

Friday 20th December 2013

Last Updated: Dec 23, 2013 02:56pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves ensured that they will spend the Christmas period at the top of the British Basketball League after virtually ending the title hopes of the London Lions at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.

The teams were locked together until partway through the second quarter when Lions’ coach Vince Macaulay was ejected from the evening. From there, a 25-6 surge from Wolves broke the game open and allowed them to saunter to an eventual 93-64 victory.

Almost three minutes had elapsed before Worcester centre Will Creekmore took the first points of the evening. After another couple of minutes a score from Alex Owumi increased the advantage to 7-3, after which Macauley edged on court to show his displeasure and receive his first technical foul.

A combination of numerous sloppy plays from both sides and tight officiating from the referees contributed to a low 16-14 scoreline by the close of the opening period.

Six points in a row from Kramer Knutson and a dunk from his fellow American Nick Freer put Lions into the lead, before scores from Owumi and young Wolves’ forward Kalil Irving helped their side back in front at 23-22.

A double of fouls called against his team preceded Macaulay furiously throwing his hands into the air and subsequently being ordered out of the arena by the officials. Owumi made both free throws awarded for Macaulay’s second technical offence and so ignited the Wolves’ surge.

Over the remaining six minutes of the first half there was only one team in the contest. Andreas Schreiber repeated the form that had earned him a spot in the latest BBL Team of the Week, bullying his way to a quick twelve points. Schreiber was also the man on the spot as the half-time buzzer sounded, standing unguarded beneath the basket to rebound a wayward shot from Kai Williams and finalise a decisive 45-28 advantage.

The second half began with a three-pointer from point guard Zaire Taylor and another double of scores from Schreiber, further extending Wolves’ dominance. A series of responses from London’s veteran English pairing of Julius Joseph and Mike Martin finally steadied the visitor’s ship and pulled matters back to 63-47 as the close of the third period neared.

However the boat was once more rocked by a late burst of action from Taylor. Firstly he stole the ball from Joseph and torpedoed a pass for Stefan Djukic to lay in. He then cruelly teased his opposite number at the Lions, Rod Brown, into committing a backcourt violation. From the resultant possession he helped the ball out to Daniel Belgrave, who swished it through the net for a triple.

Five points from Williams continued the Worcester control from the outside, while on the inside London were unable to prevent Creekmore barrelling to the basket. Lions’ inability to take care of the ball was summed up when their young guard Albert Margai rocketed a pass over the head of his intended target, only to see it deftly caught at the side-line by smiling Wolves’ coach Paul James.

James was pleased that his side were able to cope with the close refereeing of the match and emerge victorious, saying: “The refs were certainly quick on the whistle tonight. But I said to the guys that we just needed to keep calm, that we were a more talented team than London and just needed to play through whatever was going on. We did a great job from the second quarter onwards.”

James also wished to thank the Worcester crowd for their support, adding: “Our fans have been a great help to us so far, turning out in big numbers. I hope everyone has a great Christmas and I look forward to them all coming out to see us take on Birmingham next Saturday.”

Creekmore had his by now customary double-double of statistics, with 20 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Schreiber with 16 points and nine rebounds. Knutson top-scored for Surrey with 17 points.

Wolves last fixture of 2013 will be the visit of Birmingham Knights to the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday 28 December (tip off 7pm).

British Basketball League

 

 

 

Standings as at Friday 20-December-13

 

 

Played

Win

Loss

Points

1.     Worcester Wolves

15

12

3

24

2.     One Health Sharks Sheffield

14

11

3

22

2.     Esh Group Eagles Newcastle

14

11

3

22

4.     Leicester Riders

12

10

2

20

5.     London Lions

14

9

5

18

6.     Plymouth University Raiders

14

8

6

16

7.     Glasgow Rocks

14

7

7

14

8.     Cheshire Phoenix

14

6

8

12

9.     Durham Wildcats

13

5

8

10

10.   Manchester Giants

14

4

10

8

11.   Birmingham Knights

13

0

13

0

12.   Surrey United

15

0

15

0

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