Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blaze fight back to dump Perth

Updated December 18, 2011 00:42:53

The Gold Coast Blaze rose from the dead to seal an extraordinary 77-74 NBL win over the Perth Wildcats on Saturday night.

Trailing by as many as 21 points in the first half, the Blaze appeared set to endure an embarrassing defeat on their home court as Wildcats Kevin Lisch (17 points), Luke Nevill (10) and Matt Knight (9 points, 14 rebounds) ran riot.

But the Blaze turned the tables in dramatic fashion, securing a memorable win with a 44-22 second half.

Boomer Adam Gibson (28 points, 11/15 shooting) was inspirational, launching the rescue mission with three consecutive triples to open the third quarter, while Mark Worthington celebrated his 200th NBL game with a 15-point, nine-rebound performance.

It was a disastrous start for the Blaze, with their opening seven shots rimming out, as Damian Martin and Knight got things moving for the visitors.

Five quick points from Gibson kept the scoreline honest, but Gold Coast's 25 per cent shooting had it trailing 25-18 at the first break.

The Wildcats started the second term quickly with Jesse Wagstaff and Drew Williamson nailing three-pointers to push the lead out to 13.

After piling on 52 points in the opening half though, the Wildcats offence ran dry as Gold Coast surged, Chris Goulding coming to life in the open-court to give Gibson support.

Adris Deleon found his mojo after missing his first seven shots, posting 15 points (5/18 shooting) including the go-ahead basket in the 36th minute, before Gibson gave them a match-winning lead with a strong drive.

Perth had two chances to tie the game on the final play but could not connect.

There was injury to add to insult for the Wildcats, with Knight stretchered from the court with a suspected concussion after crashing heavily in the final term.


Tags: nbl, basketball, sport, perth-6000, southport-4215, qld, australia, wa

First posted December 17, 2011 23:24:38

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