The Manawatu Jets overcame a scrappy first half to see off the Taranaki Mountain Airs 86-70 in Palmerston North tonight.
The first half wasn't pretty to watch, as both teams were sloppy with their ball handling and ordinary shooting, but the Jets turned it on in the second half for a big win.
Both teams defended well in the opening quarters but there were also a lot of turnovers due to carelessness with the ball.
The Jets had been up by seven in the second quarter, but the Airs went on a 10-0 run to take the lead on the cusp of halftime. However, a three-pointer from Jets guard Troy McLean gave them a 39-37 lead at the split.
Manawatu put the pressure back on after halftime and went out to lead by 10, and were up by 16 before coach Darron Larsen cleared his bench at the end.
Jets import Paul Jones fired up in the second half and top scored with 19 points, while big man Arthur Trousdell had 15 and Brandon Jenkins 14, as well as five assists.
Centre Nick Horvath surprisingly didn't get his customary double-double, finishing with 16 rebounds and seven points.
Taranaki had Suleiman Braimoh with 24 points, Aaron Bailey-Nowell with 15 and Derek Albertsen contributed 14, but there wasn't much input from the rest of the side.
Manawatu Jets 86 (Paul Jones top scored 19, Arthur Trousdell 15, Brandon Jenkins 14, Matt Te Huna 12, Nick Horvath 16 rebounds) Taranaki Mountain Airs 70 (Suleiman Braimoh 24, Aaron Bailey-Nowell 15, Derek Albertsen 14, Brad Anderson 11) Q1: 22-18, HT: 39-37, Q3: 60-53, FT: 86-70.
- Manawatu Standard
How will the Tall Blacks fare at the World Cup in Spain?Related story: (See story)