Wollongong 102, Adelaide 80
The Wollongong Hawks put up one of the most impressive offensive displays of the season today, in the process handing the 36ers their heads, 102-80. A win today would have seen Adelaide inch closer to the coveted top spot on the ladder. Instead, it's confidence would have taken a dent as it's starting to look more and more like this year's champion will purely come down to matchups.
Wollongong led after the first quarter 28-19, on the back of some great perimeter shooting and ball movement. The Hawks looked sharp on offensive and had Adelaide on their heels. Defensively, they were good but were helped by their tactics of where they would let Adelaide get their shots. The Hawks were happy to let Adelaide take mid-range jumpers and worked hard to stop Adelaide getting in the key. Mitch Creek and Adam Gibson were proving to be Adelaide's best resistance.
Wollongong, somehow, took it to another level in the second quarter, scoring 32 points as it seemed everyone had their eye in outside (7 Hawks players hit a three for the game). Their ball movement continued to give Adelaide fits and their defense was working as Adelaide were taking a lot of low percentage shots. DJ seemed to be working his way into the game but was forced to take mid-range and outside shots as the Hawks were all over him inside. At the half it was Wollongong 60-40.
Adelaide was hoping to just get the deficit manageable in the third but while it had it's best scoring quarter, it couldn't slow Wollongong. Man, zone, junk zone just wouldn't work as the Hawks continued to have their way. It was clear early the Sixers were cooked and their only hope was for Wollongong to cool down from outside. They didn't. Hawks 86-64 going into the last quarter.
Adelaide managed to tie the last quarter as Wollongong's ball movement died off. While they held to their opponents to 16 points, they only scored 16 themselves. To show how out of sync Adelaide's offense was, it's leading scorers for the quarter were Luke Schencher (who hit a 3) and Jarrid Frye (who hit a free throw) with 5 points.
This was a game where the stats truly told the story, so here's a couple that show Wollongong's dominance.
Wollongong 3Pt Shooting: 15/36 (42%)
Adelaide 3pt Shooting: 6/19 (32%)
Wollongong Rebounds: 35
Adelaide Rebounds: 34
Adelaide Assists: 10
Wollongong Bench Points: 35
Adelaide Bench Points: 29
Adam Gibson & Daniel Johnson: 40pts
Other Starters: 11pts
Cadee & Petrie: 0pts
Wollongong were overloaded with big games. Dave Gruber had a double-double (12 and 11). Imports Tiggs and Clarke combined for 35 points, 9 boards and 8 assists. Larry Davidson scored 14 on 5 of 5 shooting. Coenraad had 14 points and 6 assists. Everyone contributed.
Adam Gibson: Had his eye in but offensive focus meant he contributed little in other areas (his lowest assist/rebound total for the year).
Gary Ervin: Struggled on offense and had little other impact. Hawks prepared well to cull his influence.
Jarrid Frye: Throwing up too many floaters as he avoids contact because of you know what.
Anthony Petrie: Didn't score and also struggled to have any other influence. Probably worst game in a Sixers uniform.
Daniel Johnson: In a sign of his development he found ways to score and contributed 19. 1 rebound shows how far he has to go at the other end.
Jason Cadee: First game back from injury and couldn't provide a much needed spark.
Brendan Teys: Scored 6 and battled on D. One of his better games.
Luke Schenscher: Struggled to work into the game due to some harsh foul calls but tallied 8 rebounds and 5 points including a surprise 3.
Mitch Creek: Got a double double in 25 minutes in one of his best games. Hit the boards and attacked the rim hard. Needs to put up more games like this on the road. This next weekend would be good!
Adam Doyle. Got junk minutes and struggled on D and his two top of the key jumpers were well off.