The Wellington Saints have bounced back from their overtime loss to the Sharks the night before to defeat the Canterbury Rams 89-76.
Similar to last night, Wellington got off to a good start winning the opening quarter 23-13. But tonight they were able to build on their lead, winning the rest of the quarters. Five Saints players reached over double-digits, Torrey Craig the leading scorer with 19 points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Leon Henry also grabbed a double-double of 15 points and 14 points.
It was a tough night offensively for the Rams who scored a season low 67 points on 34% shooting. Marcel Jones was the exception, scoring 26 points on 11-18 shooting. Marcus Alipate the only other Ram to reach double-digits with 13. Canterbury did have their point guard Jamie Adams return from injury, replacing injured forward DeSharick Guidry. Adams struggled tonight going 0-8 for three points. Fellow import Justin Graham was also subdued with six points and five turnovers.
After trailing by 12 at halftime, the Rams did close the gap to 49-43 with over five minutes remaining in the third. A 16-4 run by the Saints to end period gave them a comfortable 18 point buffer heading into the fourth.
In their last two losses Wellington have struggled defensively, the opponents averaging 96.5 points. But tonight they were much improved, and in particular they were able to hold the Rams leading scorer, Ethan Rusbatch (22.8 ppg) to six points on 1-11 shooting.
The loss puts drops the Rams to 3-3, and Wellington move back into the top four with three wins and two losses. Canterbury will try to move back into the four when they travel to Invercargill to play the SIT Zerofees Sharks next Friday.
The Saints will return home where they will play the Indigo Hawks also next Friday.
Tomorrow, Round Four continues when the Taranaki Mountainairs (3-1) travel to Trafalagar Centre to play the top of the table Mike Pero Nelson Giants (4-2) live on NZ Herald. The James Blond Supercity Rangers (1-3) will try to win their second straight when they play the SIT Zerofees Sharks (3-2).