IT was a tale of two halves for Worcester Wolves on Friday as they surrendered a double-digit interval lead, eventually losing at London Lions.
The game opened in stunning fashion for Wolves as their opponents had no answer to an explosion of scoring from centre Arturas Masiulis.
Masiulis won the opening tip-off and straightaway floated home a rare three-point basket. His fellow Lithuanian Arnas Kazlauskas was next on the scoresheet, before Masiulis added to his tally.
When Wolves’ point guard Alex Owumi connected from distance the visitors already held a 10-4 lead within the first couple of minutes.
The Lions were then held scoreless for the next four minutes of the game, during which time Wolves piled up another 11 points of their own. A double of scores from young English forward Kalil Irving helped towards a commanding 46-33 half-time advantage for his team.
The third quarter began with an outside score from Kazlauskas, before the Lions bagged the next six points to leave the scores at 49-39.
It was from here that the Wolves’ composure began to crumble as an Owumi turn-over was quickly followed by a technical foul called on Kazlauskas. Lions’ centre Adrien Sturt converted both of the resultant free throws and then saw five quick points from his team mate, point guard Orlan Jackman, reduce the margin to 49-46.
Worcester eventually got their side of the scoreboard ticking again at nearly midway through the period with a triple from Owumi. When Kazlauskas did the same a moment later it looked as if the ship had been steadied. However, a further burst of action from Jackman as he accumulated 11 points in the period.
The Lions then tallied eight points without reply to suddenly assume control at 74-65. Worcester quickly hit back with baskets from Owumi and Kazlauskas to close to 74-73 but the Lions edged away to secure the win.