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NBL 2014/15 Round 4: Breakers control the paint and Conklin in a solid victory
The Townsville Crocodiles came into tonight’s game off a solid victory against Melbourne United last week. The Queensland boys were hoping to continue their streak in New Zealand against a solid Breakers team.
The first quarter proved a close event as NZ’s strong play pushed them slightly ahead early. Townsville struggled to score in the first only putting 12 points on the board in the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw a lapse from the NZ boys before the half break. As Townsville capitalised on Norton’s ability to find his teammates with good looks, leading his team with 5 assists for the game. The score at the half still gave fans hope, that Townsville could turn it around in the second half. Both teams went to the locker room with NZ up 44- 38.
The second half saw the NZ Breakers pull away. Conklin couldn’t establish his normal bully ball style play in this one, as New Zealand looked to force the American into tough looks the whole way through this contest. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if the crocs snipers had been able to convert from outside, however this proved difficult too.
For New Zealand Cedric Jackson provided a fantastic game, dropping 17 points along with 6 assists to lead the home team in both stats. Whilst down low, Alex Pledger and Ekene Ibekwe dominated the paint to the tune of 9 boards and 2 blocks respectively.
Conklin registered a paltry 3 points and 2 rebounds in 25 minutes of play, a far cry from what we are used to seeing from the big man in green. It seemed the focus on Conklin allowed Gladness to shine, as the big man had a near double double, with 14 points and 8 rebounds. However no one else from the Crocs was able to step up and compensate for Conklin’s ineffectiveness tonight.
As the fourth quarter rolled around, the Breakers were clearly in the drivers seat. The Kiwi’s weren’t going to ease off either, with the Townsville team scoring only 12 points in the critical quarter. The defensive pressure was too much for the Crocodiles tonight, as NZ recorded 7 blocks for the game.
Both of these teams play again this weekend. Townsville and Conklin will have a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday against the Wildcats. Expect Conklin to fire up for this one and score more than 3 points. Whilst NZ will look to continue their success behind their defensive intensity when they play Adelaide Sunday.
New Zealand Breakers 84 (Jackson 17, Webster 15, Ibekwe 13)
Townsville Crocodiles 70 (Gladness 14, Steindl 13, Henry 10)