Manawatu Jets start a mini NBL winning streak
The Manawatu Jets were quickly into recovery mode tonight after rolling the Otago Nuggets in the hopes of continuing their mid-season revival.
After only picking up two wins in the first half of the season, the Jets made it two wins in a row after they beat the Otago Nuggets 88-74 in Dunedin, following their win over the Wellington Saints on Monday.
They now have to back that up again tomorrow night with the second game of their southern doubleheader against the second-placed Southland Sharks in Invercargill.
Tonight the team were straight into recovery after the win, stretching, having ice baths, hydrating and into bed to give them the best chance of making it three in a row against a Southland team is missing four key players.
Jets coach Darron Larsen didn't want to carried away over the win, even if it was a wining streak, but was impressed with the performance.
"[Otago] They've got some very good players," he said. "We had a bit more of a team effort I thought. We had good support. We had five guys in double figures, they only had two.
"We killed them on the boards, 49 to 29. We had more points in the paint and that was the telling stat."
It was tight in the first half and the Nuggets nosed ahead 41-40 at halftime.
But the Jets finally played a good third quarter, which they won 27-17, and got out to an unassailable lead.
Forward Arthur Trousdell led the scorers for the Jets with 18 points, as well as picking up a double-double with 13 rebounds, Troy McLean scored 17, while both Nick Horvath (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Paul Jones (13 and 10) got double-doubles too.
Brandon Bowdry was the top scorer for the home team with 20 and Brendon Polybank had 18, but there was little else from the rest.
Southland, who comfortably beat the Jets in the first round, have Reuben Te Rangi, Leon Henry and Shea Ili suspended indefinitely for a brawl at a New Plymouth bar and Gareth Dawson stood down for drugs, but still won their last game without them.
Larsen still had a few things he wanted to iron out before tomorrow night.
"Seventeen turnovers was an issue, we need to get rid of that. Twelve assists is not bad, it's OK."
The Jets shot at a woeful four from 24 from the three-point line, but their field goal percentage was 50.
Manawatu Jets 88 (Arthur Trousdell 18 points/13 rebounds, Troy McLean 17, Nick Horvth 14/11, Paul Jones 13/10, Brandon Jenkins 10) Otago Nuggets 74 (Brandon Bowdry 20/11, Brendon Polybank 18, Mark Dickel 6 assists) Q1: 25-22, HT: 40-41, Q3: 67-58, FT: 88-74.