Worcester Wolves continued their fine recent run of form when overpowering Mersey Tigers 91-62 in Liverpool on Friday evening.
The win moves the Wolves into the semi-finals of the BBL Cup where they will face Plymouth Raiders over two legs in December.
Taking part in their first game after a couple of weeks break, there was obvious early ring rust in the play of the Wolves. Several turnovers and hesitancy in shooting allowed Mersey to take an early 7-1 lead, and to hold a 19-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Tigers coach Tony Garbelotto was forced to call a time out at three minutes into the second period following five consecutive points from Wolves captain Callum Jones that had taken the visitors in front at 23-19. A tight first half ended with Worcester holding a slender 34-31 advantage.
As the second half began Wolves veteran forward Arnas Kazlauskas found himself open at the top of the key and duly floated home a long range score. After only four minutes into the half American forward Tommy Freeman had already scored 10 points, including a double of three-pointers. By this point Wolves were ahead at 51-33 and there was no way back for the Tigers.
Going into the last period with a comfortable 66-47 cushion, Worcester were able to entertain their travelling fans with several flashy moves. Sherrad Prezzie-Blue frequently danced through a wilting Mersey defence, and Richie Gordon was able to muscle his opponents aside when close to the basket. With one eye on Saturday’s important league encounter against Durham Wildcats, Wolves’ coach Paul James had the luxury of giving more time to his bench players as the game eased down to the satisfying 91-62 victory.
Gordon led all scorers with 27 points as well as pulling down an impressive 15 rebounds. Prezzie-Blue and Freeman both scored 23 points. Liverpool native David Aliu led the Tigers scorers with 18 points.