AFTER losing out to Newcastle Eagles in the British Basketball League Cup on Friday, Worcester Wolves slipped to an 85-79 defeat when returning to league action at Glasgow Rocks.
Arturas Masiulis bagged all of the visitors’ initial 10 points but the Rocks dominated the remainder of the opening quarter, posting a 21-7 run to take a 23-12 advantage.
Seven points from power forward Stan Ocitti helped reduce the Wolves’ arrears to 27-21 by mid-way through the second period and the teams exchanged points for the rest of the half, heading into the locker rooms at 36-28 in favour of Glasgow.
After the interval, Worcester found it difficult to eat into their host’s lead, with no player other than Ocitti able to score in the opening six minutes. A couple of long-range scores from Arnas Kazlauskas meant Wolves trailed 53-45 with three minutes to go in the third.
Rocks’ Great Britain Olympian Kieron Achara soon added to Wolves’ woes when he converted a bonus free throw following a long distance basket made despite being fouled by Masiulis.
This four-point play took the score to 63-49 and seemed to have sealed the contest. But play from Ocitti, tallying 10 points, allied to outside accuracy from Kazlauskas, kept the Wolves alive.
With 44 seconds of the game remaining, the score stood at 78-72, but each time Worcester gained a basket they were compelled to foul their opponents to slow down the game clock.
Glasgow were impeccable from the free-throw line and Wolves were unable to edge any closer. Ocitti and Kazlauskas led the scoring for the Wolves with 26 and 19 points respectively.
Wolves’ head coach Paul James said: “I’m disappointed. We’re struggling to score, struggling to get into any sort of rhythm and struggling to find five guys who can play together with any consistency. It’s a bit of a battle right now.”
Worcester face Cheshire Jets at the University of Worcester on Saturday (7pm).