WORCESTER Wolves continued their cup success with a professional 93-63 triumph over Team Northumbria in the opening round of the BBL Trophy on Sunday.
Just two days after head coach Paul James’ side turned over Sheffield Sharks 102-92 in the first leg of their BBL Cup semi-final, Wolves avoided a potential banana-skin against last season’s Division One winners at the Sports Central Main Arena.
University of Worcester graduate Siman Stewart opened Northumbria’s scoring, before new signing Robert Gilchrist sunk three consecutive baskets and Dallin Bachynski slammed home a dunk as the visitors opened a 49-34 half-time lead.
Eight unanswered points from Northumbria guard Blayne Freckleton briefly appeared to threaten Worcester’s control, but the visitors responded by turning up their defensive intensity to contain Northumbria to just four further points in the last seven minutes of the third quarter.
Already dominating at 71-48 as the final period began, Wolves once more placed a lid over their basket, while dancing to multiple successes at the other end of the court.
Two George Beamon triples rounded off a professional display to send Worcester into the BBL Trophy quarter finals.
Gilchrist led Worcester’s scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Beamon with 15 points.
James said: “We gave Northumbria the respect they deserve for what they have achieved in their league. They came back at us once or twice, but I always felt we could move up a gear whenever we had to.
“We had a chance to try out some different schemes and new plays, so I’m really pleased we could do that and still come away with a good win.”
Wolves return to British Basketball League action on Friday when they take on Leeds Force at the University of Worcester Arena (tip-off 7.30pm).