The Canterbury Rams have ended their National Basketball League struggles at home by beating Taranaki 103-76 today.
Canterbury had not won at the home of Christchurch basketball in five attempts and finally gave their supporters something to cheer about with just the second win in their NBL comeback season. Their last victory came all the way back on April 25 against Manawatu.
After giving up an average of 106 points in their previous three games, the Rams set the tone defensively early on.
Taranaki lacked energy in the first quarter after a loss to the undermanned Southland Sharks last night and missed American import Adrian Oliver, who sat out with bad blisters to his foot.
The Rams refused to allow the visitors any easy looks to start the clash as the jumped out to a 22-7 lead, courtesy of a 12-0 run.
Canterbury conceded just 30 points during the first half, with Taranaki shooting 34 per cent from the field, as they built a 16-point halftime advantage.
Taranaki were a much better outfit in the second half, but were unable to make enough runs and eat into the Rams advantage.
Canterbury needed greater production from American imports Matt Rogers and Glen Dandridge after sub-par performances last week and they stepped up, combining for 39 points.
Rogers was a dominant force in the first half, having his way in the low post and pulling down rebounds.
Dandridge warmed up as the game went on and put on a show in the second half with several electrifying slam dunks.
Marcel Jones was a handful on both ends of the floor, contributing 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Taranaki's best player Suleiman Braimoh was held back by foul trouble in the first half and proved difficult to contain in the second half, regularly causing problems in the paint as he added 30 points and nine rebounds.
AT A GLANCE
Canterbury 103 (Marcel Jones 23, Glen Dandridge 23, Matt Rogers 16, Richie Edwards 15) Taranaki 76 (Suleiman Braimoh 30, Brad Anderson 15, Nash Oh 15)
Quarter scores: 25-17, 46-30, 75-46, 103-76
- The Press
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