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NBL 2014/15 Round 1: Fourth quarter blitz gives Hawks win in season opener
Photo Credit: Wollongong Hawks
A blistering fourth quarter from Wollongong import Jahii Carson has snatched victory for the Hawks in the NBL season-opener on Friday night, defeating Townsville 92-83.
Carson scored 14 of his 20 points in the final term as the Hawks turned around an 8 point deficit with a 33-16 fourth period.
The early signs were promising for Townsville as they took a lead into the first break on the back of some hot long range shooting from Clint Steindl (15 points). Emulating their pre-season form, they then exploded for a 19-0 run in the third term with Todd Blanchfield (17 points) leading the charge. However, Luke Nevill’s rebounding and a clutch three from Gary Ervin in the final seconds of the term kept the Hawks in the hunt.
In a return to his original club, Ervin reeled off 22 points and 7 assists in a well-rounded performance while Nevill collected a double-double of 17 and 10 boards, out-muscling Mickell Gladness in a battle of the centre’s.
The fourth quarter heroics were left to Carson though, as he got to the rim at will, leaving the Crocs defence helpless. His play in the open floor and strong finishes at the basket were a warning sign to every other team in the league and he and Ervin are sure to create headaches this season.
Wollongong Hawks 92 (Ervin 22, Carson 20, Nevill 17) Townsville Crocodiles 83 (Blanchfield 17, Steindl 15, Conklin 15)
@ WIN Entertainment Centre