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Worcester Wolves 71 Plymouth Raiders 74
7:23pm Sunday 3rd November 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Wolves’ proud unbeaten start to the British Basketball League season ended after a 74-71 reversal to a gritty Plymouth University Raiders side.
The hosts fell behind early on at a near-capacity University of Worcester Arena but rallied by half-time and a 60-52 lead with five minutes left should have been a sufficient cushion.
But careless turnovers and an inability to prevent a late flurry of accurate outside shooting were key to the defeat.
It took an excruciating three minutes before Alex Owumi opened Wolves’ scoring.
Raiders forward Trevor Setty and new signing Masse Doumbe combined for a trio of three-pointers, helping Plymouth to a 22-16 lead by the end of the period.
The visitors’ advantage was extended by another Doumbe triple but a stunning turnaround ensued before half-time.
Nine points from Wolves point guard Zaire Taylor edged his side in front for the first time at 29-28.
Andreas Schreiber slammed home a clever Owumi assist to make it 34-28 against his former club.
Taylor added two more baskets with Plymouth centre Shane Walker connecting on the buzzer for only his team's second score in nearly nine minutes.
After three minutes of the third period, Wolves led 44-34, prompting Raiders coach Jay Marriot to call a time-out.
From the restart, Owumi floated in a triple to extend the advantage before a dazzling behind-the-back pass from Taylor was gleefully dunked home by Schreiber.
Wolves held their biggest lead at 55-41 but Plymouth guard Gabe Haskins began the final quarter’s scoring and Setty added another three-pointer.
With six minutes left, English forward Ben Eaves dragged Plymouth back to 57-52.
Although Owumi was next on target, both he and Taylor fumbled consecutive possessions to gift points and tie the evening at 62-62.
Though Taylor kept Wolves’ score ticking, continued outside attacks from Setty and Great Britain under 20s international Louis Sayers began to tell.
They combined for a stunning burst of three-pointers, forcing a Wolves time-out with 34 seconds left and the hosts 71-69 behind, before Plymouth sealed their comeback victory from the free-throw line.
Taylor and Owumi top-scored for Wolves with 23 and 20 points respectively and Setty notched 27 for the visitors.