WORCESTER Wolves claimed a triumphant 96-88 win against Surrey Scorchers in overtime.
Orlan Jackman’s last-gasp shot on Sunday (January 24) in Guildford thrilled travelling fans, as Wolves remain third in the British Basketball League.
Just three weeks ago Worcester came away from the same venue with a 91-66 trouncing of their hosts, but since then Surrey have seen several players released from their roster, with former Great Britain under-20 forward Allie Fullah and import Timothy ‘TJ’ Johnson brought in.
It was Johnson’s fellow American Nick Schlitzer who tallied Scorchers’ initial five points, while Wolves stayed scoreless.
However, the visitors proceeded to rattle in an impressive 28 points over the remainder of the opening quarter, while shackling Surrey to just ten further points in reply.
By half-time, though still in control, Wolves’ advantage had lessened to 44-37 and the Surrey fightback continued after the break. A double of three-pointers for Johnson helped his side close the deficit further to 64-62 entering the fourth quarter.
With just three minutes remaining in regular time, Scorchers had taken the lead at 75-73 after a slice to the hoop by their captain Tayo Ogedengbe.
In the final minute a confident drive along the baseline from Johnson took matters to 81-78 and Scorchers pushed again to force overtime. However, Jackman’s heroics rounded off the impressive performance and claimed his side the two points.
Perris Blackwell demonstrated his ability to come back strongly from his recent injury by putting up a tally of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Pavol Losonsky was the next highest scorer with 17 points, followed closely by Jay Couisnard and Javier Mugica with 16 points apiece.
Head coach Paul James said: “We were tough on defence and confident on offense.
“But, instead of turning the screw, we then took our foot off the gas. Their confidence grew and we made some silly mistakes.
“Orlan was pivotal at the end of the fourth and again made his mark in overtime.”
The dramatic overtime win comes on the back of an impressive scalp of the previously unbeaten league leaders Newcastle Eagles 94-80.
Eagles’ 28-game winning streak came to an end in an explosive and entertaining encounter at the University Arena on Friday (January 22), where Lososky and Blackwell muscled their way to 26 and 20 points respectively.
Wolves travel to Leeds Force this Friday (January 29), before taking on Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Trophy quarter-final at the University of Worcester Arena, on Sunday (January 31) from 6.30pm.