NBL 2014/15 Round 15: Sixers push past Hawks as Heritage Round kicks off
In a flashback to 1986, the Adelaide 36ers secured a five point victory over the tried and tired Wollongong Hawks 83-78 inside the Adelaide Arena on Sunday.
When it looked as though the home side were running away with the contest, the Hawks found another gear in the final term, something which they have managed to do in recent weeks and nearly created havoc in Adelaide.
With the Sixers unable to put the ball in the basket down the stretch, the team lent on their tested closer in Jamar Wilson, who managed to six of his game high 27 points in the final minute of the game.
His direct opponent, Gary Ervin (15 points, 4 assists) was the backbone of the Wollongong resurgence; with five points, two steals and an assist in the Hawks comeback, including what could have been a decisive three point play to peg the margin back to just three.
Jahii Carson then followed up making two free throws which made it a one point game, however poor execution from both sides in the final two minutes of the game ended up causing a frantic finish which ended in controversy.
With 15 seconds left on the game clock following two more Carson points, it was he who was called for a questionable unsportsmanlike foul on Jamar Wilson.
As Wilson's 12th and 13th free throws of the game stretched the lead to three, a missed opportunity at the other end forced the Hawks to foul Wilson once again as the game ended.
Adelaide were paced by both Wilson and Brock Motum's (17 points, 11 rebounds) scoring power, while Adam Gibson (2 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals) and Anthony Petrie (9 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks) were able to round out the Sixers' tenth win of the season, putting them only half a game back of fourth placed Melbourne United.
For the visitors, Larry Davidson registered a double double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Brad Hill (12 points, 8 rebounds) and number 99 (for a day) Oscar Forman (10 points, 3 blocks) chipped in.
The fifth placed Sixers now look towards chasing Melbourne down for fourth spot and they could receive a helping hand throughout next week, pending the news of BJ Anthony's injury replacement. With news coming out Daniel Johnson has parted ways with his Polish club Stelmet Zielona Gora, the reigning club MVP is set up for a star return.
Wollongong will now head home in preparation for the return fixture for these two clubs, and will look to return the favour back on their hardwood.
Adelaide 36ers 83 (Wilson 27, Motum 17, Creek 12)
Wollongong Hawks 78 (Ervin 15, Carson 14, Hill 12)
@ Adelaide Arena