WORCESTER Wolves were forced to fend off a late Glasgow Rocks fightback in order to secure their second win in the British Basketball League on Friday.
By half-time of an entertaining battle at the University of Worcester Arena, played out in front of the Sky Sports cameras, Wolves had swept to a 49-35 lead.
But the final minutes of the match saw Rocks back within one score of their hosts before Worcester eventually managed to eke out an 83-77 success.
“Glasgow didn’t go away,” admitted Coach Matt Newby. “Late on they dealt with our defence and found a way to score. But in the end I’m pleased we got the win.”
Big man pairing Jordan Williams and Matthew Bryan-Amaning got Worcester off to a lively start as they repeatedly pounded towards their Scottish visitors’ hoop.
New US guard Brandon Anderson floated in a trio of three-pointers while Rocks’ own recently-signed American duo of Christian Keeling and Ronald Delph replied for over half of their side’s first-quarter points.
Micah Elan and Henry Wilkins both sank triples to put Wolves in the box seat at 35-21 by early in the second period.
Bryan-Amaning dominated defenders, thumping home five metronomic baskets to maintain control. Just before the interval he emphasised his personal supremacy when leaving Julius Van Sauers sprawled on the floor after he imperiously swatted away the former Worcester forward’s shot attempt.
The third quarter featured Williams throwing down a double of dunks and slotting in a half-dozen free throws in a row as Glasgow struggled to deter his attacks.
Anderson dribbled from side-to-side before connecting from the top of the arc for a 72-56 advantage as the final quarter began, but it would be a further five minutes before another Wolves score from the field.
Meanwhile Rocks steadily nudged their way into the contest, drawing back to 76-73 with three minutes to go and 81-77 with just 20 seconds left.
Bryan-Amaning rounded off his fine performance by poking the ball away on Glasgow’s final offense.
Bryan-Amaning and Williams led the scoring with 21 and 18 points respectively, supported by 17 from Anderson.
Wolves will be back in action at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday (January 15) when they host Cheshire Phoenix. The match tips off at 7pm and will be streamed live and for free on Worcester Wolves YouTube channel.
“Over the next week we have to prepare, be diligent and find a stronger connectivity on the floor,” added Newby.