WORCESTER Wolves followed up Friday’s 86-54 demolition of Mersey Tigers with a business-like 82-66 dismissal of Sheffield Sharks at the University of Worcester.
While the trip to lowly Mersey was a chance for Wolves coach Paul James to give plenty of court time to the less-experienced members of his squad, the visit of the Sharks was expected to be a much sterner test.
Accordingly, James took few risks with his line-up on Saturday and his senior players responded well to the challenge.
A wide-open lay-up from centre Arturas Masiulis opened the scoring and was quickly followed by three-pointers from Carlos Fernandez and Alex Owumi.
Midway through the first quarter a powerful dunk from Stan Ocitti had the Wolves leading 12-6.
A moment later Ocitti again rose up to slam the ball home and was then tugged back by Sheffield forward Mike Tuck as he attempted to head back down the court. An unsportsmanlike foul was called on Tuck and he was promptly withdrawn by Sharks coach Atiba Lyons.
A 24-12 first quarter advantage for the home side was soon increased when Arnas Kazlauskas made all three foul shots awarded to him as a result of a clumsy grab by Sheffield’s former Great Britain forward Olu Babalola.
Just as in the case of Tuck, Babalola was also ordered to the bench by his coach and the opportunity of more space for their quicker players was seized upon by Sharks’ American guard combo of Gage Daye and Micah Williams.
Ten points between them helped the visitors to close the deficit to 38-31 by the half-time break.
In the second-half, it was Masiulis who once more set the scoreboard in motion, followed by a steal and lay-up from Fernandez.
Five points from Williams dragged matters back to 42-36, before Owumi hit his third triple of the evening. At 49-40, with three minutes of the period remaining, Lyons called a time out. When the sides returned to the floor an exchange of three-pointers took place between Daye and Owumi.
A double of further baskets from Owumi took Worcester into a 56-43 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
The white-hot form of Owumi continued in the final period of the game as he notched another ten points, including his fifth and sixth scores from outside the arc.
The score stood at 69-54 with four minutes to go and the Sharks were unable to close to within single figures. Fernandez, Kazlauskas and Ocitti all chipped in with long distance successes as the game wound down to a tidy home victory.
Owumi top-scored for the Wolves with 29 points.