Townsville 98, Adelaide 94
On Monday, we wrote about Adelaide's love/hate relationship with three-pointers. It's giving them up regularly to teams and not shooting them so well themselves. Tonight, the two combined to see Adelaide lose it's first game in a month, going down 98-94 to Townsville. The Crocs hit 11/22 from deep while Adelaide hit just 8/23.
The game started at a frenetic pace with both teams piling on the points. 4:58 in, Adelaide found itself trailing 23-16 thanks to Steven Markovic, who'd nailed 5/5 threes. As per lobpasstoabercrombie.com , he'd been shooting 39% for the year and averaging 1.6 triples per game. Adelaide largely managed to weather the storm though and at the end of the quarter were only down 33-29. It had been a fast-paced game with Townsville pushing the ball and taking whatever Adelaide gave them.
The 36ers tightened up their game in the second quarter, restricting the Crocs to just 15 points (and Markovic only one three). A 9-0 run in the middle of the period saw Adelaide get out to a 43-37 lead and it started to look like Adelaide was wrestling back control of the game. The Sixers were largely sparked by Daniel Johnson, who scored 11 straight at one point and gave Adelaide half of it's 22 for the quarter. His only support came from Mitch Creek (5) and Jason Cadee (4). It was Adelaide 51-48 at half-time.
The game stayed tight in the third with both teams scoring 20. Adelaide's starters scored 18 of those 20 and it really looked like Adelaide was in control. Markovic had been held to just 2 for the quarter and the Crocs didn't even get a three point attempt off. It was Adelaide 71-68 at the last break.
It took just over three minutes for Townsville to get the lead back, on the back of a Markovic 3 to get his team out to a 78-76 lead. Blanchfield also got in on the three point act and it was Townsville 81-76 before Adelaide went on a 7-0 run to get the lead back, 83-81. Markovic hit his eighth triple to get Townsville the lead again 84-83 and from there they wouldn't trail again. Adelaide faltered down the stretch with Frye hitting 1/3 free throws, Gibson airballing a three and DJ being called for a dubious offensive foul.
Adelaide's recent woes against the Crocs continued and it will be a tough ask for the team to get up and get a win just 24 hours later against Cairns. The team will have a bitter taste in it's mouth for several reasons after that game and will hope it has a few more things go it's way such as less travel calls, refs not getting injured and better shot clock management.
In the end though full credit must go to Townsville who executed well down the stretch and got an absolute blinder out of Markovic. The Crocs guard hit 8/11 threes and was the difference in the end, although he was well supported by Josh Pace (18pts, 6 rebounds and 2 big blocks), Brian Conklin (10points, 6 boards) and Mitch Norton (12pts on 10/11 free throws).
Gibson- (34min, 8pts, 5 reb, 5 ast). Let Markovic get off a few easy ones including that game-breaking three. Played a heap of minutes and had his moments. Continues to struggle with the three though (1/7)
Ervin- (26min, 22pts, 4 reb, 2 ast). Rested for some long stretches, including some key 4th quarter minutes. Shot the ball well (7/11 FG, 4/7 threes, 4/4 FT). One of our best.
Creek- (19min, 5pts, 4 reb, 0ast). Got the start but not his best game. Missed a key dunk and shot just 2/8.
Petrie- (27min, 16pts, 8 reb, 2 ast). Very solid game on 7/9 shooting. Looked sharp.
Johnson- (28min, 17pts, 5 reb, 4 ast). Carried the team in the second quarter but relatively quiet otherwise. Double teamed regularly but made some good passes.
Cadee- (15min, 12pts, 3 reb, 0 ast). Again provided an offensive spark. Looking a little less for others but made some key plays, including some timely loose rebounds.
Schenscher- (13min, 3pts, 6 reb, 0 ast). Crocs struggled to contain him on the boards but little other impact on the game.
Frye- (23min, 7pts, 6 reb, 0 ast). Came off the bench (unsure why). Again good on the boards but his free throw shooting (3/6) and outside shooting (0/3 threes) an issue.
Anthony (9min, 4 pts, 2 reb, 0 ast). Looked dangerous early with some slick moves but again got in foul trouble. Probably deserved more minutes but Peach and DJ both had been playing well.