WORCESTER Wolves head coach Paul James said his players were "devastated" after they crashed out of the British Basketball League play-off quarter-finals in a double overtime thriller.

Going into last night's second leg trailing London Lions by a single point, Wolves put themselves within a few seconds of progressing to the next stage before being hauled back.

With 16 seconds left in regulation time, Worcester were 79-75 to the good.

A Lions three-pointer went astray but the rebound was scooped up by ex-Wolves forward Paul Guede.

A desperation second triple attempt by London stalwart Joe Ikhinmwin swished through the net to level the aggregate scores and force overtime where the hosts eventually prevailed 94-90.

James echoed the dismay of his players and a sizeable bunch of travelling fans at seeing the season end.

He said: “This is a very difficult defeat to take. We were one defensive rebound away from making the semis. Then a freaky shot from the corner extends the match.

“I’m so disappointed for everyone. London played well but so did we. The players are devastated. I can’t fault their effort — I’m proud of them.

“We’ve had our ups and downs this season and this really hurts. We have undoubtedly had some quality players on our roster.

"It will now be a time for everyone to reflect on what has taken place and to look towards what they want to happen going forward.”

The afternoon was a chess match from the outset.

Trayvon Palmer cleaned up a George Beamon miss and the latter man took the next score for himself.

Alex Navajas sank a three to aid a 10-2 lead after three minutes had elapsed.

However, the next seven minutes’ moves all belonged to Lions who moved 20-14 ahead opening the second quarter.

By midway through the period a Palmer dunk had reversed matters to 30-29 in his side’s favour.

By half-time London had again got the upper hand at 42-37 before Beamon went to work with repeated scores and Dallin Bachynski put in a shift close to the basket.

Worcester’s rotations were dealt a blow when Robert Gilchrist picked up his fourth and fifth fouls in under a minute to end his involvement before the third quarter had expired.

The last 10 minutes of regulation time began with a Lions edge at 62-61.

The back-and-forth nature of the contest perpetuated until the last few moments when Wolves' hopes of success were harshly dashed.

London’s Great Britain international Justin Robinson put his side 86-83 in front in the first period of overtime before more Beamon heroics levelled the aggregate score at 87-86.

Lions failed to get a shot away on their next possession leaving a three-second window for Wolves to snatch the tie.

On this occasion Beamon’s shot went astray, setting up a further five minutes of added time.

While their opponents were still able to call upon a greater number of senior players, a tiring Worcester team could sustain their exertions no more, securing only a single field goal and having to finally acknowledge defeat.

Beamon led the line with 26 points and a battling eight rebounds.

Bachynski fought his way to 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Michael Ojo and Palmer tallied 15 and 12 points respectively.

London are joined by Leicester Riders, Glasgow Rocks and Bristol Flyers in the hunt for glory at the capital’s O2 Arena on Sunday, May 20.