Worcester Wolves had to extinguish a second-half surge at Coventry Flames on Saturday to hold onto a 64-58 victory.

By half-time Wolves had accumulated a healthy 37-22 lead but were then restricted by their hosts to single-figure points in the third quarter, slashing the advantage to just 46-41 and keeping the outcome in the balance.

In the opening seconds of the match Austin Payne delivered the first of what would turn out to be a bagful of steals, sweeping forward to begin the scoring.

Payne three-pointers either side of a tidy turnaround hook from Matei Balteanu produced a 30-20 scoreline midway through the second period.

Lucas McGregor jabbed the ball out of his attacker’s hands and pelted up-court to dazzle onlookers with a spectacular reverse dunk, finalising Worcester’s first half dominance.

There was a marked switch in momentum as the teams returned from the locker rooms. Coventry now repeatedly found their range from long-distance to revitalise their chances.

Payne laid on a simple basket for Wilfred Santhe before Kieran Lee and McGregor both sliced past defenders to restore a double-digit gap at 59-44 with three minutes left in the match.

But a Flames timeout once more fired up proceedings, preventing Wolves from enjoying a comfortable end to their evening.

Payne led all scorers with 22 points, followed by 11 points from McGregor. Santhe notched nine points and John Lenton-Jinks supplied seven.

Wolves now take a break from National Basketball League action until Saturday 30 October (7pm) when they welcome Nottingham Hoods to the University of Worcester Arena.