11th Dec, 2019

Eagles to visit Arena after Flyers floored by Lions

Rob George 22nd Nov, 2019

WORCESTER Wolves will host Newcastle Eagles at the University of Worcester Arena on November 29 in the BBL Cup quarter-finals.

Wolves faced a nervous wait to discover their last eight fate after a 78-77 loss at home to Surrey Scorchers on Friday (November 15).

Despite having qualified for the last eight, the Wolfpack will only discovered their opponents after the Bristol Flyers fell to a 103-69 defeat at the London Lions on Wednesday (November 20)

Victory for the Flyers at the London Lions would have left Wolves facing a road trip to Sheffield Sharks in the final eight of the competition.

Defeat at home on Friday left Wolves with a record of six wins and four defeats in the group stage.

The clash started well as big man pairing of Julius Van Sauers and Jordan Williams blocked successive Surrey attacks, contributing to ten points without reply.

Scorchers reduced the lead to 21-16 by the close of the first quarter before a confident Williams drive and a coast-to-coast pleaser from Cortez Edwards regained control.

But the visitors again came back into the contest. Caylin Raftopoulos sank a three-pointer to tie matters at 32-32.

James Hawthorne blew the chance to put his side in front by misjudging the power needed to dunk the ball through the net, bringing howls of derision from a large University of Worcester Arena crowd.

A Mark Hughes triple nudged Wolves 37-36 ahead as the second half began. A free-scoring third period ended with Surrey on top at 57-53.

That advantage extended to 66-57 with six minutes left in the evening as Worcester repeatedly telegraphed passes, allowing easy interceptions for their opponents.

Kofi Josephs inspired a fightback with continued forward thrusts that forced Scorchers to foul to slow his advances.

Joseph’s perfect seven-from-seven free throws brought the teams together at 74-74 by the final couple of minutes of the match.

An exchange of scores from Raftopoulos and Hughes had Worcester clinging to a 77-76 lead with ten seconds remaining before a Tayo Ogedengbe lay-up once more changed matters.

With just a second-and-a-half to go, Wolves had side-line possession but found their attempts to inbound the ball frustrated by the hulking presence of 6ft 11in NBA draftee Ryan Richards, leaving a desperate Williams shot to fall short.

Maarten Bouwknecht led the Worcester scorers with 15 points, closely followed by 14 points apiece for Josephs and Williams and 13 from Hughes.

A disappointed coach Matt Newby said: “If you don’t perform you don’t win. We didn’t perform. It’s as simple as that.”

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