WORCESTER Wolves head coach Paul James praised the efforts of his depleted squad as they swept aside Plymouth Raiders 95-84 at the University of Worcester Arena last night.

Injuries and international call-ups left James fielding just four senior players and awarding major minutes to rarely-used reserves George Emms and Dominic Ives.

Though faltering in the early rebounding battle, Wolves found their long-range shooting boots to pull into a 47-36 half-time lead.

Increased defensive intensity saw them take the upper hand around both baskets while continuing to rain in three-pointers and close out a morale-boosting victory.

James felt all of his team played their part, saying: “That was a fantastic display from every player on the court.

"George and Dom showed no fear and did everything I asked of them in stepping up and supporting their team-mates.

“We shared the ball around. We played hard and sensibly. This was a performance where we maintained our concentration throughout and got our reward.”

Ives had the honour of collecting Worcester’s first points from an Alex Navajas assist.

Navajas showed impressive court-vision in continually finding the open man, laying on a triple for George Beamon, a dunk for Brandon Parrish and a three-pointer for Emms as the first quarter closed.

Buoyed by his earlier success, Emms was on target again to push his team 25-23 ahead early in the second period.

Seven-foot centre Zak Wells was the only thorn in Wolves’ side as they chose to stand back from him rather than risk foul trouble.

A series of enthusiastic drives to the hoop by Beamon boosted the advantage into double figures by the interval.

Plymouth toiled in vain to close the gap but were still outscored by their more-assured hosts.

Brimming with confidence, Trayvon Palmer popped up with a steal and a two-handed slam, Emms weaved a pass through traffic for Beamon to convert and Ives joined in the festival of three-pointers.

Worcester danced into the last quarter with a dominant 73-55 advantage.

The final minutes saw control maintained and the luxury of Zach Noble and Demi Ogunbona also being introduced into the action.

Beamon disregarded a heavily-strapped ankle to leap to a stunning 34 points, including five triples.

His fellow Americans Palmer and Parrish posted 20 and 18 respectively with four three-pointers apiece.

Navajas flew close to a rare triple-double of statistics with nine points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.

Emms tallied nine points and Ives rounded out the scoring with a handy five.

James was keen to dish out further plaudits, saying: “George Beamon was an inspiration out there.

"It was a last-minute decision to play him. He was desperate to do whatever he could for us. He said strap me up and I’ll be ready to go.

“Alex produced a captain’s performance. Brandon and Trayvon were both deadly.

"Dom got stuck in and kept offences alive and once George Emms starting hitting threes it broke the game open.”

Wolves are on the road on Friday at Newcastle Eagles before returning to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday, March 9, to host Leeds Force.

“We’ll get our numbers back up next week. The returning players will be joining a group of guys who have just played their hearts out. If we keep that spirit going we can have more success,” added James.