The unlikeliest of three-point heroes Matthew Knight (203-F/C-85, college: Loyola Mary) hit a massive triple to help the Perth Wildcats escape with a 62-59 win over the Townsville Crocs at the Perth Arena on Friday night.
The Crocs led by as much as 10 during the third quarter and then three triples in the last quarter from Michael Cedar had them still in front with under a minute to go.
Reigning MVP Kevin Lisch hit two threes - including a staggering shake-and-bake that sent Perter Crawford to the floor - to firstly keep Perth close and then hit the front, but then it was Knight who nailed his first triple of the season with 35 seconds to go that ultimately iced the Cats win.
Lisch finished with 17 points but shot 6-of-19 from the field and 3-of-10 from three-point range but nailed the big buckets when it counted. Knight added 15 points and eight rebounds and Shawn Redhage 10 points in his 250th NBL match.
It was a brave effort from the Crocs with Gary Ervin scoring 12 points to go with nine assists, and Todd Blanchfield, Crawford (14 rebounds), Cedar and Luke Nevill all scoring 11 points.
Despite starting the season 0-10, the Crocs now have lost just twice now in the eight games since and with the Sydney Kings (10-10) and Wollongong Hawks (8-9) struggling in third and fourth positions, Townsville has claims on being the third best team in the league.
The Wildcats improve to 13-4 and it gives them the perfect lead into Thursday's clash with the New Zealand Breakers.
It was a dour first half with the opening quarter ending tied at 12, and the Wildcats didn't improve much in the second period backing up shooting 5-of-18 from the field in the second after 4-of-16 in the first.
While the Crocs improved to shoot 8-of-15 in the second quarter, turnovers and bail out foul calls at the other end meant they only led 31-29 at half-time.
The Crocs started better in the second half with Blanchfield knocking down two triples and an alley-oop and Crawford another long bomb to help them to a double-digit lead.
The Cats whittled that down to just three by three quarter-time and things heated up in the last quarter with both teams nailing big threes, but it was the home side just getting up in the end.
Decorey Jones (ex Mildura H.) joins Huracan - 23 hours ago
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Huracan Trelew (TNA) added to their roster 26-year old American swingman Decorey Jones (201-90, college: Faulkner). He played this summer at Mildura Heat in Australian league. The last season Jones played at Nidaros Jets in BLNO where in 20 games he was fifth best scorer with impressive 21.7ppg and averaged 9.7rpg, 2.9apg and 1.8spg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Norwegian BLNO Honorable Mention. He is quite experienced player. Jones' career... [read more]
Huracan Trelew (TNA) added to their roster 26-year old American swingman Decorey Jones (201-90, college: Faulkner). He played this summer at Mildura Heat in Australian league. The last season Jones played at Nidaros Jets in BLNO where in 20 games he was fifth best scorer with impressive 21.7ppg and averaged 9.7rpg, 2.9apg and 1.8spg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Norwegian BLNO Honorable Mention. He is quite experienced player. Jones' career allowed him to visit four different continents, while he played in six different countries. Jones tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia, Australia and of course North America. He has played previously professionally in Canada (Moncton Miracles), Malaysia (Crouching Tigers), Spain (Virgen), WBA (Conyers CK) and Mongolia (Aravtuud). Jones attended Faulkner University until 2012 and it will be his fifth season as a professional player. On Jones:
Decorey Jones is a Dynamic Swingman that can score in a variety of ways. Jones has the ability to put the ball on the floor and go coast to coast and is unstoppable in the open court transition game finishing strong at the basket.
He is a great long-range shooter and can create his own shot. Very effective on pick and roll, can also take his man into the post and score over him. Good free throw shooter, Great rebounder. Extremely long arms allow him to grab steals and block shots to guard the 4-5 postition. He has a 6'8' wingspan.
New Zealand Breakers (NBL) added to their roster 24-year old American (has also Panamanian passport) forward Akil Mitchell (203-106kg-92, college: Virginia). He played last season at Sharks Antibes in French ProA. In 34 games he recorded 9.2ppg, 7.2rpg and 1 [read more]
New Zealand Breakers (NBL) added to their roster 24-year old American (has also Panamanian passport) forward Akil Mitchell (203-106kg-92, college: Virginia). He played last season at Sharks Antibes in French ProA. In 34 games he recorded 9.2ppg, 7.2rpg and 1.6apg. The previous (14-15) season Mitchell played at another team Rio Grande Valley Vipers in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in 49 games he averaged 9.8ppg, 9.0rpg, 1.6apg and 1.0spg. He has tried to make it to the NBA and played in the NBA Pro Summer League this summer. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Mitchell's college team won ACC Tournament in 2014. He was also voted ACC All-Defensive Team in 2014. Mitchell represented Panama at the Centrobasket in Panama City (Panama) this year. His team got to the Semifinals and his stats at that event were 6 games: 5.0ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg. Mitchell has played also professionally in NBA (Houston Rockets). He attended University of Virginia until 2014 and it will be his third season as a professional player.
UCLA Outlasts Brisbane Bullets in Australia, 94-91 - 2 days ago
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Aaron Holiday (6'1''-G-96) totaled a team-high 17 points to help the UCLA men's basketball team earn a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets before a capacity crowd at the Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre on Monday night. Holiday, who made nine of 10 free throws, was one of four Bruins to score in double figures. Bryce Alford (6'3''-G-94) and Isaac Hamilton (6'5''-G-94) each had 16 points, while Ike Ike Anigbogu (6'10''-F/C) registered 13 points and 10 rebounds, including seven offensive bo... [read more]
Aaron Holiday (6'1''-G-96) totaled a team-high 17 points to help the UCLA men's basketball team earn a 94-91 win over the Brisbane Bullets before a capacity crowd at the Logan Metro Indoor Sports Centre on Monday night. Holiday, who made nine of 10 free throws, was one of four Bruins to score in double figures. Bryce Alford (6'3''-G-94) and Isaac Hamilton (6'5''-G-94) each had 16 points, while Ike Ike Anigbogu (6'10''-F/C) registered 13 points and 10 rebounds, including seven offensive boards. Thomas Welsh finished two points shy of a double-double, logging eight points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. Brisbane's Daniel Kickert (6'10''-C/F-83, college: St.Mary's, CA) registered a team-high 17 points for the National Basketball League squad that was playing its first preseason game since resurrecting its organization. The Bullets left the NBL in 2008 and will rejoin the league this season. UCLA's win came after some an interesting final sequence. The Bruins led 94-91 after Holiday made a pair of free throws with five seconds to play. Brisbane inbounded the ball and raced down the court before guard Ryan Vines (5'10''-G-91, college: Co.Georgia) heaved a wild desperation three-point shot, but UCLA's Bryce Alford was whistled for the foul. That sent Vines to the free throw line with a chance to even the score. Vines missed each of his first two free throw attempts and appeared to intentionally miss the final shot before UCLA's Ike Anigbogu grabbed the rebound to seal the victory. With Monday night's win, UCLA closed its three-game trip to Australia with two wins and one loss. "This is what we really needed and wanted in a foreign trip," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "Our guys were tested. I'm really glad that we won this last game. Even had we lost, it would have been a really good trip for us. But obviously, I'm glad that our guys got some momentum with this win tonight." Earlier in their overseas trip, the Bruins earned a 123-76 win at Sydney University on Aug. 23 before dropping an 89-84 decision to the Melbourne United of the NBL on Aug. 27. UCLA's three games in Australia will help the team prepare for its preseason practices in October. "We're further ahead with what we want to do offensively and with the basis of what we'd like to do on defense," Coach Alford said. "We'll come home with three games of really good film, particularly with those last two games against Melbourne and Brisbane. Between those two games against pro teams, we will have 80 minutes of really good film to show our guys and break down with one month before our preseason gets started." Monday's victory didn't come easy for UCLA. The host Bullets led throughout much of the first half and entered halftime with a 51-49 cushion, only after Alford nailed a 3-pointer with one second left in the second quarter to trim the gap to two points. In fact, the Bruins trailed by as many as 11 points with 4:18 to pay in the second quarter. The first quarter featured three lead changes before Brisbane claimed a 19-17 lead with 4:46 remaining. The Bullets never trailed until early in the third quarter. Down by a 52-51 margin just 25 seconds into the third quarter, Brisbane used a 6-0 scoring run to lead 57-52 and pushed its cushion to as many as 10 points - 66-56 - with five minutes left in the frame. Ike Anigbogu converted an old-fashioned 3-point play at the 1:07 mark, making the score 71-66 in Brisbane's favor. A basket by Hamilton with one second left in the third followed by another score from Hamilton to open the fourth quarter reduced Brisbane's advantage to 75-73. But the most notable sequence to lift the Bruins came from Bryce Alford and Lonzo Ball. Alford pulled the trigger on a sensational step-back 3-pointer to tie the game, 79-79, with 7:26 remaining and Ball immediately followed with a deep ball of his own, giving UCLA an 82-79 lead. The Bruins never trailed from that point. Brisbane twice tied the contest - at 82-82 and 84-84 - before Ike Anigbogu scored with 4:26 remaining to push UCLA ahead, 86-84. "We didn't play too well in the beginning," Holiday said. "But we started to really dig in during that second half, started to play tougher on defense, and we got going. It's great that we got the win." Holiday's tenacity on both sides of the ball was critical for the Bruins. The sophomore guard stuffed the stat sheet for UCLA, totaling four rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists. "I thought that he was a pitbull," Coach Alford said. "He really competed. With Isaac in some foul trouble there in the second half, I thought that Aaron really fought through, having to play some extended minutes. He did some great things for us at both ends of the floor." Monday's win helped the Bruins cap the basketball portion of their 10-day trip abroad. As for Tuesday, the team's final full day in Australia, the surf and sand is on the team's itinerary. Staying at a hotel adjacent to the shores of the Gold Coast, members of the Bruins' travel party will have opportunities to partake in surfing lessons on Tuesday afternoon. As for the chance of a "surf-off" contest between any coaches or players? "Spending the day at Surfer's Paradise, some of us are trying to get a surf-off going between Alec Wulff and Coach Broussard," Coach Alford joked. "And I can't wait to see that." Courtesy of: uclabruins.com
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