BBL Trophy Final
Worcester Wolves 83 (15, 38, 58) (Williams 26, Creekmore 22, Owumi 11)
Glasgow Rocks 76 (25, 44, 55) (Murray 21, Johnson 14, Urli 11)
Sadly the dream came to an end for the Rocks last night as they fell at the final hurdle on their quest for the BBL Trophy final.
Worcester Wolves overcame the Rocks by a narrow 83-76 margin to claim the BBL Trophy in front of a near-sell out crowd at the Emirates Arena.
It turned out to be a game of two halves at the Emirates in what was an enthralling matchup between high-flying Worcester and the Rocks.
EJ Harrison said: “It’s a tough one for us; we didn’t get it done in the 2nd half. It was a tight game throughout and down the stretch they made the plays.”
It was Worcester who drew first blood with the opening points in the game, but it was the Rocks who took the advantage in the first quarter.
After trading baskets in the opening minutes, the Rocks asserted themselves and their dominance over their opponents.
The Rocks slowly extended their lead as the quarter progressed but it was Murray who stole the show with a three on the buzzer to give the Rocks a 25-15 lead to take into the 2nd.
Coach Sterling Davis said: “I thought our guys really came out with a high intensity level, especially to start a basketball game out. We knew what kind of a game it would be with Worcester. Just look over the stats I thought we somewhat controlled the rebounds in the first half. We did a good job defensively for the most part of the game.”
Free-throw shooting played a big part in the first half as the Rocks shot 100% from the line, meanwhile, with the help of the noise from the Rocks fan, Worcester only shot 50%.
Baskets were exchanged throughout the 2nd quarter but the Rocks maintained their lead.
— BBL (@BBLofficial) March 30, 2014
It was cut to as little as four during the course of the period but another shot on the buzzer from Murray meant the Rocks led by six at the halfway stage.
The third quarter was a messy affair from a Rocks point of view; the Wolves came out with a purpose and caused the Rocks a number of problems.
Worcester changed their offensive strategy which led to foul trouble for the Rocks as they reached five team fouls with just less than four minutes left in the period.
Sterling said, “They got us in some foul trouble and I think that kind of made us retreat a little bit. We couldn’t keep them out of the middle of the floor, especially during that 4th quarter. Them attacking put our guys in an awkward position to try and play defence, with the game being called the way it was any drive to the basket would have got a whistle.”
And the Wolves stepped up their game from the line. The Wolves kept chopping away at the Rocks’ lead throughout the quarter and finished it 58-55 ahead – the first time they had taken the lead since early in the first quarter.
A huge three at the start of the quarter from Sterl tied the game at 58-58 early in the 4th.
The lead changed hands five times in the first part of the 4th quarter before the Wolves asserted dominance midway through the period.
The Rocks tried everything they could to pull back Worcester’s lead but the Wolves were just too strong in the final moments and took home the trophy with an 83-76 victory.
The Rocks put in a great showing that themselves and the fans can be proud of and will look to use the loss as motivation to challenge for a BBL play-off spot.
Davis said: “We’ve got to be able to bounce back off of this and fight for what we have left remaining in the league. Right now we’re fighting for a play-off spot, it’s going to be real tough now considering the opponents we have but we’ve got to take it one game at a time and hopefully we can take out any anger or anything like that on the next opponents we have to face.”
Murray led the line for the Rocks with 21pts/3asts including 4/4 free-throws, Johnson had 14pts/4asts and Urli racked up 11pts/12rebs/5asts.
Williams received MVP with 26pts for the Wolves; Creekmore had 22pts/15rebs and Owumi 11pts/7rebs/5asts.
— Glasgow Rocks (@rocksglasgow) March 30, 2014