NBL 2014/15 Round 6: Fourth quarter rally from Breakers proves too much for Hawks to handle
The New Zealand Breakers have continued their recent form, scoring a 71-55 victory over the cellar dwelling Wollongong Hawks.
Right from the start this on was an up and down affair. The first quarter was the closest it was going to get for either team. Whilst neither team was particularly dominate it was the strong play of Cedric Jackson, who scored a game high 22 who made the difference in this one.
The first quarter provided the most entertainment for the whole game. Nevill came of the bench along with Ervin for Wollongong as the hawks struggled to get things going in the first period. Stout defense from both squads saw the offensive efficiency of both squads limited in the early portion of the first.
Neither team could take the lead late in the first with, the scores reading 20-22 in favour of the Breakers going into the 2nd quarter. NZ picked it up to start the second, as a big block from Wesley, after the steal from Carson led NZ on an 8-0 run. The consistent defensive pressure from NZ caused too much trouble for the Hawks as the Breakers capitalized, heading the lockers with a 10-point half time lead.
Neither team had a particularly strong 3rd quarter as the Breakers managed only 3 points to the Hawks 13. It seemed as though someone had placed a cover over the rim for the Breakers as nearly every shot failed to fall through the net. The defensive pressure by Wollongong proving too much as no Breakers player managed to score the ball without a contested hand.
The fourth quarter saw the Breakers take control of the game. Where shots that had failed to connect in the 3rd had been the norm, it was NZ who couldn’t be stopped in the fourth. A 19-2 run by the breakers causing the hawks to sputter at the finish line and fail to capitalize on their great third quarter of play.
Larry Davidson led all scores for the Hawks with 12, showing just how poor the Hawks played in this one. Whilst for the Hawks it was Jackson who shined brightest, finishing top 3 in points, rebounds and assists for the Breakers.
The Hawks face Cairns next week, which is sure to provide a much tougher challenge than this week. The Wollongong faithful are slowly watching their playoff hopes slip away, as start import Jahii Carson fails to live up to the hype that proceeded his signing with the club.
On the other end, the Breakers will look to strengthen their hold on their place as they face a Melbourne side, which is starting to put things together. NZ will need another strong game from Jackson to ensure their continue their winning ways.
New Zealand Breakers 71 (Jackson 22, Ibekwe 13, Carter 9)
Wollongong Hawks 55 (Davidson 12, Ervin 10, Hill 8)
@ Vector Arena