NEW signing Kai Williams top-scored with 19 points as Worcester Wolves defeated Glasgow Rocks in the British Basketball League.
Supported by 16 points apiece from Arturas Masiulis and Stan Ocitti, who also secured 13 rebounds, Wolves brought their 2012 league campaign to an end in victorious style at the University of Worcester.
The Rocks, for whom Gareth Murray led the way with 18 points, came into the game in confident mood following an 88-78 victory at London Lions the night before.
However, they were unable to keep pace with an enthusiastic Wolves side still buoyant from their success against the reigning champions Newcastle Eagles.
It took over two minutes for the scoring to begin, a three-pointer for Worcester guard Alex Owumi, but a couple of free throws for Rocks forward Murray and a triple for player-coach Sterling Davis edged the visitors ahead.
Williams entered the action midway through the opening period and hit a three with his first touch as Wolves regained the lead at 10-7.
He then hit four more points in an initial quarter that ended 18-15 in favour of the hosts.
The Worcester lead widened to double digits after a series of plays involving Arnas Kazlauskas. A full court pass from the Lithuanian was caught and slammed home by Owumi before an assist, as he was falling out of bounds, was converted by fellow countryman Masiulis.
Kazlauskas followed up by draining a long-range basket to take the game to 27-17.
Another triple from Williams and four points from forward Ocitti helped the hosts progress to 36-19 with five minutes gone.
Over the next three minutes, a 10-1 burst from the Rocks briefly stemmed the tide, before further inside scoring from Masiulis and Ocitti allowed the Wolves to once more assert their dominance for a healthy half-time lead of 46-31.
A closely-contested third period saw players frequently at the free throw line as both teams tightened their defences.
Going into the final quarter the Wolves still held a 61-50 lead, but a Glasgow fightback was on the way. Veteran point guard EJ Harrison grabbed a score and followed it by floating up a pass for Murray to dunk home.
Free throws from Rocks’ Andrew Wedemire made matters 63-57 and then a wayward pass from Worcester ball-handler Sherrad Prezzie-Blue was intercepted and converted by the visitors.
At 63-59 with six minutes remaining, Prezzie-Blue made amends by finally opening his scoring account with a three-pointer.
A moment later another three-point attempt bounced off the rim but the rebound was snatched by Ocitti and thrown through the hoop.
The Rocks called a time out after Williams made the next score, but by now their resistance was broken. The hosts’ lead peaked at 83-64 as the game wound down, before late points from the Rocks gave some respectability to the final outcome.