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.
The Perth Wildcats have signed West Australian guard Jackson Hussey (190-G-92, college: Pikeville) as an injury replacement for Jarrod Kenny(188-G-85) Hussey recently completed the 2016 State Basketball League season with the Geraldton Buccaneers. In 13 games, he averaged 20.3 points at over 45 per cent from the field, while accumulating 8.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. In a pre-season game against the Wildcats in September, Hussey impressed Wildcats coaches with a strong perform... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview: Why you decided to be a pro player. I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense. There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview:
Why you decided to be a pro player.
I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense.
There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not come soon.
It is a VERY complicated decision to make, but one I was just forced to make last week actually. At the end of the day I know I have the patience to wait for the next deal, so I cannot compromise my self worth just to take the first offer on the table. Which was the best game you had in your career so far?
The best game I've had so far came while I was playing for Surrey in the BBL (UK). It was the only game of our season that would be televised on Eurosport, so I knew this was an opportunity I had to seize. I finished with a career-high of 37 points on 12/16 shooting. Tell us your strong point and your weakness in your game.
My strong point is my basketball IQ and my weakness is not dunking at every opportunity.
Which player was the hardest opponent to play against?
Randle's 23 points and 8 assists give him Player of the Week award - 1 day ago
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29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lo... [read more]
29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost two games earlier this season. 36ers will need more victories to improve their 3-2 record. In the team's last game Randle had a remarkable 55.6% from 2-point range. He turned to be 36ers' top player in his first season with the team. University of California graduate has very impressive stats this year. Randle is league's best scorer averaging so far 24.0ppg. Randle is in league's top in assists (4th best: 4.4apg) and averages solid 66.7% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Casey Prather (198-F/G-91) of league's second-best Wildcats. He is American swingman in his 2nd season at Wildcats. In the last game Prather recorded impressive 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course Wildcats cruised to a 80-73 relatively comfortable win over Hawks (1-4). The season is still at the very beginning and this victory may help a lot. Let's wait for the next round. Prather is well-known at Wildcats and he already established his position as one of the team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 20.2ppg (#2). His other stats are also decent: 4.8rpg and 3.8apg.
Third place about best performers goes to forward Greg Whittington (203-F-93) of league's leader Kings. Whittington scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He was a key player of Kings, leading his team to a 92-78 easy win against Breakers (#6, 1-3). Kings confirms their top position in the standings. Whittington has a great season in Australia. After only 5 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 7.6rpg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 15 points and 12 rebounds 5. Daniel Kickert (208-C/F-83) of Bullets - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Akil Mitchell (206-F-92) of Breakers - 20 points and 4 rebounds 8. Brad Newley (199-F/G-85) of Kings - 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Kevin Lisch (188-C-86) of Kings - 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Matthew Knight (204-C/F-85) of Wildcats - 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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