Leon Henry would have loved to get another win over on his former team at Vector Arena on Friday night. The Breakers looked to be heading for a comfortable victory to avenge their 23 points drubbing at the hands of the Crocs last week. The hosts led by 11 points in the fourth quarter but in the end had to withstand a typical Townsville fight back to eventually stumble across the line 77-74.
Henry had a relatively quiet night adding a block and a rebound to a couple of points.
In other news from the Australian National Basketball League.
In the battle of the top two sides Melbourne United secured an overtime victory, 91-85, in Perth against the Wildcats on Friday. Jarrod Kenny (2p/3r/4a/2steals) helped spark a Cats revival as they scored ten of the last twelve points in regulation but United weathered the Perth revival to move to the top of the NBL ladder with a 17-8 record.
Sydney Kings went down 81-76 in Cairns in the third Friday night game, the defeat handing the Kings the NBL wooden spoon for just the second time in franchise history. Dion Prewster had 2pts/4rebs/2 assists for Sydney.
There were initial fears Kirk Penney may have suffered a season-ending hamstring injury against the Breakers a couple of weeks ago before scans confirmed a burst blood vessel was behind the extensive bruising and swelling in his leg. Without Penney the Illawarra Hawks managed to split their two game series with the Adelaide 36ers in this round, both teams winning their home encounters.
On Wednesday in the Eurocup Italian club Dinamo Sassari never trailed before holding on to 75-72 win over CAI Zaragoza to stay in contention for a place in the quarter finals. Sassari and CAI both hold 2-2 records in a share of second place of Group N, but CAI has the tie-breaking advantage with its 12-point win over Sassari last week. The top two teams in each group advance into the last eight. Isaac Fotu went 2 from 5 from the field for 4 points for Zaragoza.
Zaragoza was beaten 91-81 at Andorra on Saturday and appears to be in a Liga Endesa relegation battle in the second half of the season. Fotu started for Zaragoza but scored just 5 points as his team slip to 16th in the 18-team competition with a 5-13 record.
Plymouth Raiders had a double header against Sheffield Sharks at the weekend and got bitten on both occasions. Duane Bailey scored 2 points and secured 5 rebounds as the Raiders went down 74-68 on Friday night in a British Basketball League encounter. 48 hours later the Raiders were knocked out of the Trophy competition at the quarter final stage thumped 99-73 at home.
American College – Men
Tai Webster has found some good form lately for the Nebraska University Huskers. He is the only player averaging double figures in Big Ten Conference play while not making a start in conference play. Webster is averaging 11 points per game and had 12 points and a career-high five steals last week against Michigan.
On Saturday the Huskers visited Purdue, a college that must have one of the least attractive monikers in NCAA sport, being known as the Boilermakers. Unattractive or not the No. 21 ranked Purdue topped Nebraska, 89-74, the Huskers slipping to 4-5 in conference games. Webster was in the thick of the action again with 17 points (6/10FG, 4/5FT), 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
Jack Salt only played 4 minutes for the Virginia University Cavaliers on Tuesday but he was a member of the excited bench brigade looking on as the Cavs came back from 10 points down with 1:23 remaining to defeat Wake Forrest 72-71. Guard Darius Thompson made a sideline three on the buzzer to give the Cavs the most unlikely of victories.
Virginia improved to 6-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday routing Louisville 63-47. Salt only played in the last minute but did step on court in front 22,000 Louisville supporters. Imagine that!