WORCESTER Wolves rose to third in the British Basketball League after a 77-72 win over Newcastle Eagles after an absorbing encounter at the University of Worcester Arena.
In a match with multiple lead-changes, Wolves edged 62-60 ahead entering the final quarter and hung on for a 77-72 success which positions them next to Eagles in third place in the Championship table with an identical 5-3 win-loss record.
The back-and-forth nature of the contest was set early with Wolves guard Mark Hughes tiptoeing through traffic for a 2-2 tie and sinking a pull-up jumper to level at 4-4. Although the hosts pulled 13-6 clear after four minutes had elapsed Eagles quickly bit back with eight unanswered points to nudge in front.
Kofi Josephs found Amir Williams for an alley-oop slam as the second quarter began, restoring parity at 19-19. A double of three-pointers from Josephs further excited a large home crowd before Newcastle took their turn in the box-seat with a 44-39 half-time advantage.
Cortez Edwards eagerly rebounded his own miss to close the visitors’ lead to just 54-53 and Amir Williams thrust past fellow big man CJ Gettys to move Wolves ahead.
Jordan Williams revelled in barrelling Gettys to the floor for a 74-70 cushion with a couple of minutes to go and earning the seven-footer a referee’s warning for flopping.
Another Joseph’s basket widened the lead sufficiently to close out the win.
Jordan Williams led the statistics with 18 points and 11 rebounds, with his namesake Amir also posting a 14 points and 11 boards double-double.
“I think there was an emotional and physical hangover from Sunday’s BBL Cup win,” admitted Wolves coach Matt Newby.
“But the players have been really diligent in how they prepared after a very demanding game last weekend. At the end of the day we got the win against a high-calibre Newcastle team.”
Wolves will be on the road for their next fixture on Friday (tip off 7.30pm) at Sheffield Sharks before a Valentine’s Day date with Plymouth Raiders at the University of Worcester Arena.