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London Lions 62 Worcester Wolves 63
5:39pm Friday 11th October 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Wolves continued their unbeaten British Basketball League start with a thrilling 63-62 over-time victory at London Lions.
Holding a 10-point lead by half-time, Wolves seemed to be on their way to a third consecutive win.
However, a dearth of second-half scoring left them struggling to stay in the contest before a steal from Kalil Irving allowed forward partner Stefan Djukic to level and take the evening into an extra five minutes where Wolves eventually prevailed.
The first quarter saw the beginnings of a night-long battle between Wolves centre Will Creekmore and Lions’ Great Britain international Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Six points apiece were their contributions to a 20-16 advantage for Wolves by the end of the period.
Creekmore made a neat fade-away shot off one leg and moments later sank a three-pointer to help extend Wolves’ lead to 29-18 midway through the second period.
However, Bryan-Amaning responded with a score, blocked a Creekmore attempt and then directed a bullet pass for veteran forward Julius Joseph to lay home.
Wolves guard Alex Owumi and opposite number Rod Brown showed it was not just about the big men.
A double of baskets from Brown inspired Owumi to target his smaller opponent, backing the ball towards him and sinking three successive scores on the way to a 37-27 interval lead.
Towards the end of the first-half, Wolves point guard Zaire Taylor seemed to be affected by a heavy fall.
With little firepower from his team-mates, a paltry eight points was all Worcester could muster over the period while Lions scored 14.
A slender 45-41 lead evaporated in the first minute of the last quarter when Bryan-Amaning again denied a Creekmore shot attempt and floated a tidy jump-shot over the outstretched arms of his rival.
By the time Bryan-Amaning showcased his all-round versatility with an outside score, London led with three minutes left.
Two points from Joseph prompted Wolves coach Paul James to call a time-out.
With just under a minute left, his team trailed but forward Jamal Williams bustled his way to the hoop to score and draw a foul, pulling the scores back to 56-54.
Irving intercepted the ball with 19 seconds left and passed to Djukic who made no mistake with the lay-up.
Worcester’s momentum carried over into the extra period with a triple from a revitalised Taylor and a confident spin move from Owumi as the visitors took the spoils.
James said: “We did well in the first-half but Lions did a great job in turning the tables on us in the second period.
“We weren’t moving the ball well enough or setting screens. But we stayed calm to take the win, showing toughness that perhaps wasn’t always there last season.”
Creekmore and Owumi led the Wolves scorers with 17 and 15 points respectively. Brown and Bryan-Amaning tabbed 15 and 13 for London.