Two wins in 24 hours for Wolves

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Alex Owumi starred for Worcester Wolves against Surrey United. Picture: KEITH HUNT.

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First published in Sport

WORCESTER Wolves wrapped up their British Basketball League season with two victories in the space of 24 hours.

After edging past Glasgow Rocks 84-79 at the University Arena on Friday, Worcester triumphed 103-77 at Surrey United on Saturday.

Paul James' side now wait to see who they will face in the play-offs, which start next weekend with Wolves playing the second leg, regardless of opposition, at home on Sunday (3pm).

Captain Alex Owumi led the way with 24 points at Surrey, closely followed by Zaire Taylor with 22, who also served up 10 assists to register a double-double of statistics.

Will Creekmore also grabbed the honour with a 19-point and 11-rebound performance.

A couple of baskets each for Stefan Djukic and Taylor were the feature of a 12-7 start for Worcester. For Surrey, Lithuanian centre Ces Kucinskas hit six points to cut the lead to 19-18 by the last minute of the quarter.

When American import Nick Freer opened his account, the visitors trailed for the first time.

But Taylor ensured normal service was resumed and, aided by Kai Williams, Wolves opened a 31-26 lead.

After that, United crumbled. Owumi floated the first two of what would be six triples and by half-time the lead was 52-36.

Between the fourth and sixth minute of the third quarter, Owumi totally knocked the stuffing out of Surrey with a stunning burst of three consecutive triples, helping Wolves establish an unassailable 72-48 advantage.

That became 80-56 and Worcester's cruised to victory, with Harry Turner and Caylin Raftopoulos also getting on the scoreboard.

Against Glasgow in the BBL Trophy final rematch, Owumi and Kalil Irving top-scored with 21 and 15 points respectively, while Taylor scored 13 alongside 14 rebounds and 11 assists.

But, although a substantial 51-32 advantage had been accumulated at half-time, the Rocks doggedly stuck to the task, leaving the game still up for grabs in the final seconds before Wolves prevailed.

Nearly half of Wolves’ first quarter points came from young English forward Irving. He floated home a three-pointer to bring up an early 8-4 lead and a few moments later impressed with a confident drive to the hoop.

Glasgow edged in front with Gareth Murray's triple but eight additional points from Irving soon regained the lead for the hosts.

The first quarter closed with Wolves 29-24 ahead and, following a double of baskets from Williams, they led 37-24.

Disraeli Lufadeju came off the bench to sink a deuce of three-pointers to move Worcester further clear at the interval.

Centre Will Creekmore hit two scores in the first minute of the second-half but it would be a further three minutes before any other Worcester player would score again as Glasgow cut the deficit to 58-51.

After the first couple of minutes of the final quarter, the gap had reduced to just 68-63 after a series of successes for Murray and forward partner Fran Urli.

Accurate shooting from Owumi looked to have ended the resistance at 75-63 with five minutes to play but the Rocks hit back again to trail just 80-74.

With 38 seconds to go, the tension rose again with Alex Marcotullio converted two of three foul shots to bring his side tantalisingly close at 80-79.

However, the valiant efforts of the visitors were not rewarded as Taylor found Lufadeju open and the first-year Worcester man was able to float home his third long distance success.

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