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Owumi and Taylor fire Wolves to victory over Newcastle Eagles
6:21pm Sunday 27th October 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Wolves showed they fully deserve their place at the top of the British Basketball League by defeating Newcastle Eagles, one of their closest challengers, after making the long trip to the North East.
For most of the evening, neither side was able to break, but in the last quarter two three-pointers from Worcester’s exciting guard pairing of Alex Owumi and Zaire Taylor finally established an advantage for the visitors that they would not relinquish.
Wolves’ Jamal Williams was first man on the scoreboard, with a reply from Great Britain international Darius Defoe following quickly.
Six more points from Defoe put his side in front at 14-10, but five points from Taylor and Owumi had matters tied at 15-15 by half-way through the opening period.
Towards the close of the period, Worcester forward Daniel Belgrave checked into the line-up and coolly sank a long-range effort with his first touch of the ball, helping his team to a 29-22 lead.
A 17-6 rally from the Eagles turned the tables by the half-time interval, with Newcastle in charge at 44-40.
Defoe came out to add a swift six points to give Newcastle their biggest lead of the night at 50-42, but a burst of action from Taylor and centre Will Creekmore were the catalysts for Wolves to come back into the contest.
Taylor hit a brace of outside scores, helping Wolves to edge back in front at 58-59 entering the final quarter of the match.
Three points from Eagles’ veteran forward Charles Smith tipped the advantage back to the home side, before a dunk from recent signing Andreas Schreiber levelled the scores at 63-63.
Another triple from Taylor had Newcastle once more requesting a break in the action at 63-66 with six minutes to play.
With the Eagles trailing 72-63 with four minutes remaining, a final time-out was unable to re-ignite the home side.
A series of hurried offences and the continued strong inside presence of Creekmore and Schreiber was enough to repel the Eagles attack and allow Wolves to seal the victory.
Beaming Worcester coach Paul James said afterwards: “Newcastle is never an easy place to come to, but we dug deep.
“We were behind the pace in the first-half, but in the second we controlled the boards, got stops when we needed to and then executed our offences.
“It was an outstanding team performance.”
Zaire Taylor led the Wolves scoring with 25 points, including a quartet of three-pointers. Owumi just missed out on a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, but Creekmore was able to achieve the feat by tallying 16 points and pulling down a huge 17 rebounds.
Wolves’ supporters will be able to welcome home their conquering heroes on Friday when the Plymouth Raiders visit the University Arena (7.30pm).
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