WORCESTER Wolves’ recent run of good form came to an end in disappointing fashion when they were upended 88-81 by bottom-of-the-table Glasgow Rocks.
Wolves fell behind from the outset, trailed 42-35 at half-time and were largely kept comfortably at bay by their Scottish hosts.
Glasgow’s seven-footer Ronald Delph proved to be a constant thorn in Worcester’s side. His powerful dunk in the fifth minute brought up a 15-7 lead. By the last minute of the first quarter he had already accumulated ten points out of his team’s 25-14 total.
In the second period Maarten Bouwknecht and Brandon Anderson both notched three-pointers and Lamarr Kimble found his way to the basket to contain Rocks’ interval advantage.
But the visitors’ troubles increased after the break as they repeatedly allowed offensive rebounds and frequently faltered in their own attacks.
Mike Parks managed some inside success, but ongoing defensive frailties saw Rocks’ player-coach Gareth Murray celebrate a triple at the third quarter buzzer and a 67-55 score-line.
The home side kept near-double-digit control until four minutes left in the evening. A Kimble drive reduced the arrears and a Bouwknecht three gave hope of a comeback.
By just over a minute remaining Bouwknecht connected again from outside the arc to close the gap to 83-79. The same player then stole the ball at mid-court and raced towards the hoop before being roughly collared by defenders, signalling the end of the revival and Glasgow’s third victory of this year’s campaign.
Bouwknecht and Parks joint top-scored for Wolves with 21 points, with the latter also grabbing eleven rebounds. 17 points for Kimble was the only other significant offensive output.
Wolves coach Matt Newby said: “They were very hungry for a win. They don’t want to stay sat at the bottom of the table and Coach Murray had them up for the game.
“We struggled with Delph. Once he’d got his confidence from making a couple of early shots he exploded and Glasgow kept going to the guy who was hot.”
Wolves will meet the Rocks again tomorrow (Friday) at the University of Worcester Arena. The match tips off at 7pm and will be streamed live and for free on Worcester Wolves YouTube channel.
Stalwart forward Jordan Williams was missing from Sunday’s line-up and Newby is unsure whether he will be back in action for Friday’s rematch.
“Jordan took a knock last time out. He’s obviously a massive asset that we missed today. We hope he’ll be back next week but if he’s not, so be it – we need to be able to do a job without him.
“Today was very frustrating. Our rhythm was poor and we failed to start as well as we’ve done in other games. But on the positive side I think we still managed to get many of our normal shots – those shots just didn’t fall.”