WORCESTER Wolves missed out on a statement victory over NBL Division Two title challengers Manchester Magic on Saturday as they were edged out 63-59 at the University of Worcester Arena.

With three minutes remaining sixth-placed Wolves held a 59-56 lead but thereafter failed to add to their total, allowing second-placed Magic to grab a 63-59 victory.

Manchester started the better of the two on the night and opened up a 15-7 advantage before Worcester reduced the deficit to 19-15 entering the second quarter.

Jacob Dearman hit his second three-pointer to further close matters to 24-23 and, when Emmanuel Yeboah dribbled the length of the court to set up a Zak Riabi triple, Wolves drew level.

Nyake Tucker introduced himself by tipping in a long-range Riabi miss, giving his new team a 36-35 edge in the last minute of the first half.

Magic nudged back into a 37-36 interval advantage, but the closeness of the score-line was not matched by a huge disparity in the rebounding count.

The visitors’ consistently leapt first and highest to own the area around both baskets with 32-17 half-time superiority on the boards.

Manchester’s rebounding control persisted after the break with Worcester only able to muster a couple of third-quarter inside successes and falling 54-49 behind.

Tom Grayling returned from injury to make an immediate impact. Toughing out a quartet of scores inspired his teammates to dent Magic’s composure, forcing a series of turnovers.

However, with just Grayling now moving the Wolves side of the scoreboard, Manchester totted up the last points of the match to take the win.