Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

Crocs upset Wildcats in NBL

By Chris Pike
8 February 2014 03:42PM EST

BOTTOM beat top in the NBL on Friday night with the Townsville Crocodiles upsetting the Perth Wildcats at The Swamp coming away with the 88-75 victory.

After a see-sawing first three quarters that saw the Wildcats enter the fourth period leading 66-63, the Crocodiles stormed home with their best quarter of the season.

The Crocs piled on 26 points in the final quarter while managing to hold the Wildcats to just nine to secure the 13-point victory to not only get off the bottom of the ladder themselves, but make Perth a little more vulnerable in top spot.

The Wildcats do remain on top of the NBL with a 16-6 record but the door is now certainly open for the Adelaide 36ers to snatch the minor premiership off them.

Adelaide has already beaten Perth once this season back on November 22 with the two set to again meet next Friday night at the Perth Arena with another battle then to come on March 14 at the Adelaide Arena in two matches that potentially could decide top spot.

While Perth's 16-6 record is a good one, at one stage the Wildcats were 12-1 and 12-2 to finish the 2013 calendar year.

Things haven’t gone as smoothly so far in 2014 with the Wildcats only managing to win four of the eight matches, including having now lost three of their last four including back-to-back home losses for the first time at the Perth Arena.

Since being 12-1, the Wildcats have now only managed a 4-5 record to have gone from unbackable championship favourites to the title for 2013/14 now being somewhat more open.

Meanwhile, Adelaide has also only lost six games this season and has played three less matches than Perth so if the 36ers continue their winning ways, including against the Wildcats, they can be sitting on top of the table within the next fortnight.

The Crocs, on the other hand, still face an uphill battle to get themselves back in the playoff hunt but at least are no longer on the bottom of the table following their best win of the season on Friday night by 13 points against the Wildcats.

Townsville has now won two straight matches on the back of an eight-game losing run and Friday also gave former Wildcats assistant and first-year Crocodiles head coach Shawn Dennis his first victory over his former team.

The Crocs did a terrific job on Friday dominating inside scoring 36 points in the paint to just 24 from the Wildcats and also managing to take full advantage of Perth's 12 turnovers, scoring 17 points off them.

Townsville also did a superb job taking care of the ball with just seven turnovers for the four quarters and that was largely because of veteran point guard Steve Markovic.

Markovic inspired the Crocodiles to the win on the back of 22 points and six assists while shooting an efficient 4-of-8 from three-point range.

Import Josh Pace also had a good night for Townsville with 17 points and seven rebounds while American big man Brian Conklin contributed 16 points and five boards.

Emerging swingman Todd Blanchfield finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as well for the Crocs.

Jesse Wagstaff top-scored for the Wildcats with 24 points while James Ennis finished with 15 points and eight rebounds with import guard Jermaine Beal contributing 11 points, three rebounds and two assists.

Round 17 of the NBL continues on Saturday night with the Sydney Kings taking on the New Zealand Breakers, and a Reptile Rumble in Cairns between the Taipans and Crocs.

There is then just the one match on Sunday afternoon with the Wollongong Hawks hosting the Adelaide 36ers.

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)