WORCESTER Wolves kept a firm hold on second place in the BBL Championship after a gritty 95-88 victory at Plymouth Raiders.
The win was a welcome one for Wolves who wanted to get back to winning ways after their overtime defeat to Glasgow Rocks a week before.
The match saw Worcester lost out through being unable to capitalise on several opportunities to pull clear. But Wolves soon learnt from their lesson as a ruthless display of scoring in the last quarter helped them get back to winning ways.
Wolves’ coach Paul James was particularly happy to see a different reaction from his players this time round.
“Towards the end today (Sunday) we were in a similar position to where we were last Sunday at Glasgow. We had a time out and referred back to last week,” he said.
“Everyone was determined not to see the same thing happen. Jamal then hit one of his trademark threes off the break, we sat down defensively, kept our heads and closed the game out.”
Wolves’ Jamal Williams was in the thick of the action from the opening tip-off, stealing the ball from Great Britain International Nick George and setting up a score for Robert Thurman. On the next possession he was the first man to grab hold of a Raiders’ miss, again passing the ball into Thurman’s hands for a powerful slam.
Entering the second period the visitors led 24-16 before a trio of long-range successes from Plymouth’s guards Brent Benson and Josh Wilcher dragged their team back into contention. A Benson basket at the close of the first half kept matters close at 45-43 to Wolves.
Benson repeated his late-scoring feat at the end of the third quarter to reverse the advantage in favour of the hosts at 69-67.
It was 75-75 midway through the final quarter before Williams floated home a triple, and followed this by once more connecting with Thurman for a dunk.
Swarming defence caused a series of Raiders’ misses but Wolves showed no such inaccuracy as they clinched a welcome win.
Wolves return to action on Friday when they face the Manchester Giants.