The Canterbury Rams have bounced back from a first-up defeat to scrap their way to a 99-87 overtime victory over the Bay Hawks.
Despite playing the night before against the Supercity Rangers, the Rams managed to eke out a victory over the Hawks in an extremely sloppy contest.
Jeremy Kendle was again the star for the Rams, overcoming a slow start to come alive in the clutch. He played all 45 minutes to finish with 31 points, the majority coming in the fourth and overtime periods as he stepped up.
Marcel Jones had 33 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and four steals for the Rams, hitting some tough looks but also relying too heavily on isolation plays as the Rams offence found themselves bogged down.
Tohi Smith-Milner was the only other Ram to reach double digits, but Marques Whippy was vital in overtime, snaring some big rebounds and showing impressive vision.
It took a Hawks comeback for the game to reach overtime, most notably a triple from Everard Bartlett with 24 seconds to tie the game. Bartlett was fouled on the play, but missed the and-one free throw. Given a chance to win the game for the Rams, Jones found room for an open three but was well off.
Fortunately, the Rams quickly wrapped up the contest in overtime. Despite the obvious fatigue, they ran the Hawks off the floor, with Kendle to the fore to seal the victory.
The Hawks recieved a big bounce-back effort from temporary import centre Grant Fiorentinos, who showed a nice touch around the rim on his way to 25 points and seven rebounds, while Bartlett had 23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Curiously, Hawks import Lamar Roberson was benched early in the second half for a defensive lapse, and didn't return to the game, finishing with just nine minutes of court time.
Rams import Will Neighbour also failed to flatter, fouling out in 20 minutes with nine points and five rebounds.
The Rams are now 1-1 and host the Wellington Saints on Thursday, while the Hawks are 0-2 and host the Taranaki Mountain Airs next Sunday. Both games will be live streamed on nzherald.co.nz