WORCESTER Wolves clung to the coat-tails of British Basketball League high-fliers Newcastle Eagles at the University of Worcester Arena before dropping to a 96-93 reversal.

Any chance of victory looked to have ebbed away once Newcastle had established a 32-18 second-quarter advantage.

But Wolves scrambled back to tie matters by half-time.

Eagles’ double-digit lead was rebuilt in the second half before their hosts again clawed their way back into the contest, only falling short at the end by a single score.

The opening quarter ended with Worcester trailing 24-17.

The deficit immediately expanded to 28-17 when former Wolves forward Kai Williams was impeded shooting a three-pointer, resulting in successful foul shots and a bonus free throw as players argued the referee's call.

Newcastle’s quicksilver guard Rahmon Fletcher twice sliced to the hoop before the tide turned.

Deshawn Freeman ignited the comeback by swatting away a Williams attack.

Miki Servera sank a triple and fired a bullet assist for Freeman to convert.

Alex Navajas backed down his defender to the basket and Eagles were rattled into consecutive turnovers.

Another Servera success levelled the half-time scoreboard at 42-42.

Newcastle reasserted control after the break, threatening to again kill off the evening with a 79-69 cushion as the final period began.

Robert Crawford sprang up with a trio of scores and Lester Prosper was able to bully his way forward to once more level the contest at 81-81 with five minutes remaining.

With just nine seconds to go Eagles held a 94-93 edge when a Victor Moses basket was ruled out for a shot-clock violation.

But after the referees had gathered for further discussion the initial decision was overturned.

A hurried finale saw a Servera triple go awry.

Freeman and Servera joint top-scored with 19 points, supported by Prosper and Crawford on 14 and 13 respectively.

Wolves coach Tony Garbelotto said after the defeat: “I can’t argue with the players’ effort, they want to win. But they don’t know how to win – that’s the biggest problem.”

Wolves will be back at the arena on Friday to welcome the team currently a place above them in the league in Surrey Scorchers (7.30pm).

The victor will leave their opponent at the foot of the table.

The next day Wolves travel to championship-contending London City Royals (7.30pm).

“We’re good enough to beat Surrey but this club should be beating the top teams,” added Garbelotto.

“We have a chance to do that next week against London.”