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Worcester Wolves put out Surrey Heat in a fine home win
6:37pm Sunday 24th February 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Wolves made it five wins in a row when they defeated Surrey Heat 99-81 in a British Basketball League clash at the University of Worcester.
Wolves’ current unbeaten run stretches back to the last time they met the Heat, a game that was lost after overtime.
However, on this occasion there was no question of a close contest as the home side raced to a 31-17 first quarter lead and kept their opponents at arm’s length throughout the evening.
Ex-Worcester forward Sam Cricelli opened the night’s scoring with a close-range shot but that was to be the only time Surrey were in front.
Lithuanian centre Arturas Masiulis got off to his usual fast start with four points and blocked a shot attempt from his opposite number Frank Holmes.
Three successive long-distance baskets from the hosts took the score from 15-12 to 24-15, prompting a Surrey time-out after seven minutes had elapsed.
The break in play did nothing to slow Wolves’ momentum as forward Kai Williams took the last five points of the period to accumulate an electrifying 13 personal points, including a triple of three-pointers.
When Williams floated home his fourth and fifth triples, Worcester led 46-28.
A 50-33 half-time lead was quickly added to by a basket from Stan Ocitti and a rare four-point play by guard Alex Owumi who sank a triple and also converted the resultant bonus free-throw.
There was a glimmer of a Surrey fight back when a score from Cricelli ended a 9-0 run for his side that left them at 56-42 by midway through the third quarter.
But the resistance was soon quelled by two three-pointers from Ocitti, helping the Wolves to restore a 76-57 advantage entering the last period of play.
The final 10 minutes of the night began with Worcester captain Carlos Fernandez stealing the ball from Cricelli and floating a long pass to Kalil Irving for a powerful two-handed dunk.
Fernandez then took a neat assist from Masiulis for a basket of his own.
By the time Masiulis had registered his seventh blocked shot, and Fernandez had once more combined with Irving for another slam through the hoop, the match was well and truly decided.
For the last few minutes, Wolves‘ coach Paul James took the luxury of resting his starters ahead of ther trip to Durham Wildcats.
James was not too surprised to finally beat a Surrey team that had twice overcome the Wolves this season, saying: “We have been playing really well of late.
“This was the first time against the Heat that we have been focused for the full 40 minutes, and it paid off.”
Owumi, Ocitti and Masiulis all registered double-doubles of points and rebounds and James was keen to praise their efforts, saying: “We knew that the Heat are not prolific shooters from the outside so that if we limited their play close to the basket, and took the rebounds, we would have the edge.”