NBL 2014/15 Round 4: McRae sparks United to victory over Hawks

Photo Credit: Melbourne United Basketball Club

Melbourne United needed a win this week to steady the ship slightly, but not as bad as Wollongong did. Unfortunately for the Hawks, United grabbed a fairly convincing win at Hisense Arena that saw Wollongong fall to a lowly 1-7 on the season.

The Hawks managed to keep the game close in the first half, trailing by only five by the end of the first bracket and maintained that distance into the half time break. However, by the end of the 3rd quarter, Melbourne had truly taken control of the match with a 20 point lead, led by a huge effort from Jordan McRae.

McRae had an average first half but really found himself on fire in the 3rd, scoring 14 of his 32 on the night, going 58% from the field and 9/10 from the free throw line. He also got his teammates involved with 4 assists and chipped in on the boards with 3 defensive rebounds.

While McRae poured out the points, Mark Worthington provided solid defense and a consistent presence on the court to see United come through with the win. This was no more apparent than when Worthington swatted away a Hawks shot that led to Jordan slamming home a 360 dunk on the breakaway. Worthington came up just shy of a double-double, with 9 boards, 2 steals and 2 blocks in a monster effort.

It wasn’t all bad news for Wollongong, as their best player on the night Jahii Carson remained a bright spot in what has been a very dark season to this point in Round 4. Carson went off in the final bracket for 13 points on 6/7 shooting and added 5 more points on free throw shooting.

They managed to cut the lead to 8 points with 3:09 left on the clock but fouls down the stretch meant that it wasn’t meant to be for the Hawks. They ended up losing by 13, which was far from the rout it promised to be just one quarter before that.

When you only have one player score in double figures, the final score is the least of your worries. The Hawks will have to look within themselves to see if there’s a way they can salvage a respectable win-loss record by the end of the season, but it’s not looking positive so far.

Note: Nate Tomlinson was absent from the game due to being in America for the birth of his first child. Congratulations, Nate!

Melbourne United 88 (McRae 32, Dennis 15, Worthington 15)

Wollongong Hawks 75 (Carson 26, Davidson 9, Coenraad 8)

@ Hisense Arena