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Durham Wildcats 91 Worcester Wolves 98
3:53pm Monday 21st January 2013 in Worcester Wolves
WORCESTER Wolves ended their long wait for an away victory with success at Durham Wildcats.
Alex Owumi top-scored with 22 points in the north east to give Wolves their first win on the road since October and keep up their push for a top-four finish in the British Basketball League.
It also avenged their opening day defeat against the Wildcats and levelled the head-to-head record between the sides to 1-1.
Wolves struggled early on but an explosion of scoring in the last 12 minutes finally saw them gain the upper hand.
Worcester centre Arturas Masiulis and veteran Wildcats guard Ralph Bucci contributed five points each to see the teams level at 11-11 midway through the first quarter.
However, by the close of the period Bucci had doubled his points total to give his side a 24-20 lead.
Scores from Wildcats’ forward pairing of Mike Baldarelli and Samuel Johnson increased that advantage to 28-20 before Kai Williams opened his account with consecutive scores to bring Wolves back to 30-27.
When Arnas Kazlauskas sank his first three-pointer to edge the game closer at 32-30 it was enough for Durham to call a time-out.
With two minutes of the half remaining, the home advantage had widened to 43-34 and it was the turn of Worcester coach Paul James to call for a break.
The last five scoring plays of the half were shared between by Wolves’ Stan Ocitti and Durham’s British guard Keith Page, taking the hosts into the locker rooms 48-41 ahead.
Owumi nabbed the first of his 20 second-half points to once more pull the visitors into contention, trailing 50-47, but again Durham hit straight back.
Towards the close of the third period, a triple from Baldarelli saw his side open a nine-point cushion at 66-57, before late replies from Kazlauskas and Sherrad Prezzie-Blue put the game back in the balance at 66-63.
The visitors’ momentum carried over into the final quarter as Williams nailed two free-throws before playing his part in harassing his opponents into failing to take a shot in the permitted 24 seconds. Ocitti then buried a shot from distance to finally push the Wolves in front at 68-66.
Worcester proceeded to turn the screw with further triples from Kazlauskas and Williams igniting a blistering 19-0 run to leave Durham shell-shocked and trailing at 76-66 with six minutes to go.
The damage was too much for the Wildcats to repair and for the remainder of the game they were unable to get close to their opponents.
Durham tried to slow the clock by committing fouls but, for the most part, the resultant free-throws were converted to seal a fine Wolves win.
Ocitti scored 19 points and made nine rebounds, while Masiulis registered 17 points and 10 rebounds.