WOLVES’ coach Matt Newby admitted his side had no answer for an early onslaught at British Basketball League leaders London Lions on Monday, effectively ending the contest by half-time.
A blistering eight three-pointers rained down through the Worcester net in the first quarter alone, leaving a swaggering London firmly in control at 34-17.
The lead expanded to 60-28 entering the second half before a Wolves fight-back limited the margin of victory to 103-71.
“London got going early and that meant we were left chasing the game from then on,” said Newby.
“They pressured us over three-quarters of the court and got us into executing poorly and rushing our shots.
“I’m pleased that in the second-half our guys made the right adjustments and played with more composure but of course by then the damage had already been done.”
Five minutes into the match matters were still competitive in a 12-12 tie. But the following five minutes were a totally different story with Lions putting forward a 26-5 rampage to close the quarter.
American forward Dirk Williams slotted in his second and third triples in less than a minute, Great Britain guard Justin Robinson dropped in a couple and Williams connected again as Worcester ducked for cover.
It would take four minutes of the second period to elapse before Micah Elan re-started Wolves’ side of the scoreboard. Matthew Bryan-Amaning thumped home a Maarten Bouwknecht assist for a rare first-half bright spot, but that man Williams rifled in two more three-pointers to dull any revival.
Worcester came out of the interval locker-rooms in determined fashion with Elan and Bouwknecht creating chances for themselves and their teammates. Bryan-Amaning toiled close to the hoop as did Jordan Williams until taking a seat on the bench due to foul trouble.
Tola Okiki sparked with consecutive fourth quarter baskets and Matt Williamson delighted in draining a three on his first touch of the ball, aiding a morale-lifting 43-43 tie over the second half of the evening.
Bryan-Amaning led the scoring with 20 points, in addition to grabbing 11 rebounds. Elan tallied 18 points and Bouwknecht supplied 15.
Wolves return to the University of Worcester Arena on Bank Holiday Monday (December 28) when they host Surrey Scorchers. The match tips off at 7pm and will be streamed live and for free on Worcester Wolves YouTube channel.
“We didn’t show the resilience today that we needed, but we have had some players on court for the entire forty minutes so fatigue is certainly a factor,” said Newby.
“We have to find a way to get the game against Surrey over the line next week.”