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NBL 2014/15 Round 11: United win overtime thriller in Wollongong
After a first half shootout, Melbourne United played good team basketball in the overtime period to get back onto the winners list with a 103-98 victory.
With only three seconds left on the clock in regulation and a chance to win the game, Wollongong turned the ball over with a five second violation as Gary Ervin couldn't get the ball in play.
Both teams started the game shooting very well from the field and from three-point land. Oscar Forman knocked down two three-point shots to start the game for Wollongong after Dave Barlow opened the scoring with a three-pointer of his own.
Melbourne head coach Daryl McDonald called an early time out, getting stuck into his starting lineup for the defensive effort in the opening minutes.
The hot shooting was kept up for both teams throughout the first half, with the game being played at a fast pace and run and gun style.
Gary Ervin had one of his best games for the season with 31 points, eight assists and five rebounds. He led the way for the Hawks, hitting some big shots and causing some problems for the United defence.
Oscar Forman was hot from downtown, hitting six three pointers for his 20 points.
With many momentum changes the score looked like blowing out both ways more than once.
For Melbourne United these momentum bursts were led by their star import Jordan McRae once again. McRae, who was second in scoring before the round, had 30 points and five assists in a dominant shooting display.
Dave Barlow played his role very well and keeps improving in his NBL comeback, shooting the ball well as he finished up with 16 points.
The game looked as if it would fall Wollongong's way late in the last quarter before Nate Tomlinson and Dave Barlow hit back to back three pointers, tying up the game.
Dennis opened the scoring in overtime before Dave Barlow took a rare offensive rebound and scored to give United a small lead.
A massive Worthington block got his team pumped up after he saved a sure two points on a Larry Davidson lay up. The hustle from Worthington and his team in the overtime period led to some crucial offensive rebounds, including one from Lucas Walker, after rebounding has been Melbourne's issue all season.
Wollongong looked to foul and send Melbourne to the free throw line late in the period. United looked shaky from the spot with Nate Tomlinson and Stephen Dennis missing both free throws when given an opportunity to extend the lead.
Jordan McRae, who thrives on high pressure situations, then stepped up to the free throw line, making four straight to give United a six point lead and making it very hard for the Hawks to come back.
Wollongong came close however struggled to keep the ball, doubling the amount turnovers that United had 18-9.
A well documented trouble for Melbourne is their lack of rebounding ability and once again they lost the rebound count by a considerable margin 38-25.
Melbourne United's record is now 8-7 and they face the Sydney Kings on Sunday at Margaret Court Arena.
Wollongong moves to 3-13 on the season and their weekend is finished.
Wollongong Hawks 98 (Ervin 31, Forman 20, Carson 10)
Melbourne United 103 (McRae 30, Barlow 16, Kickert 14)
@ WIN Entertainment Centre