Basketball: MountainAirs stun Rams for second straight win

Tony Tolovae of the Taranaki Mountainairs playing against the Canterbury Rams. Photo/ Photosport
Tony Tolovae of the Taranaki Mountainairs playing against the Canterbury Rams. Photo/ Photosport

The Taranaki MountainAirs have stunned the Canterbury Rams 71-69, to claim their second win for the season.

Taranaki centre, Daniel Miller had 16 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, and fellow import Marcus Johnson also added a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Captain, Aaron Bailey-Nowell pitched in with 12, and Jordan Ngatai added 11 for Taranaki who overcome a 14 point third quarter deficit claim their second straight road win and their first winning streak since May 17 2014.

Watch a replay of the entire game

Canterbury were without injured forward Marcel Jones, but it was a game that head coach Mark Dickel will feel they should have won had they shot better from the free throw line, the Rams converting on only 5/18 (27%).

Point guard Jamie Adams scored a team high 16, Ethan Rusbatch had 15, and off the bench Marques Whippy added 13 for the Rams.

Trailing 71-69, Canterbury had a chance to tie the scores with 15 second left.

But a tip from behind by Houston O'Riley on Rams point guard Jamie Adams, forced a turnover.

The Rams then fouled Houston O'Riley with seconds remaining.

But O'Riley would miss both free throws, giving the Rams a chance to win or force overtime.

After a Canterbury timeout, they were able to inbound the ball at halfway and get it to their best shooter Ethan Rusbatch, who tried for the three, albeit a contested one which fell short.

It was also a tough night for Rams import DeSharick Guidry, who fouled out in under 16 minutes for seven rebounds and two points.

Taranaki head coach Ross McMains was able to rotate his nine-man squad well enough to avoid that same fate.

The MountainAirs will now travel further south to play the SIT Zerofees Sharks (0-1) on Saturday.

- NZ Herald

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