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Hawks hammer 36ers in another upset

By Chris Pike
9 February 2014 04:25PM EST

THE weekend of upsets in the NBL continued on Sunday afternoon with the bottom-placed Wollongong Hawks thrashing Adelaide with the 36ers losing a golden chance to further close in on top spot.

With Townsville already having got off the bottom of the ladder this weekend with upset wins over Perth and Cairns, the boilovers continued at the WIN Entertainment Centre on Sunday afternoon with Wollongong thrashing Adelaide 102-80.

While the result only improves the Hawks to a 7-13 record on the season with them remaining on the bottom of the ladder, it keeps whatever slim hopes they have of still remaining in the playoff race alive.

However, Adelaide falls to a 13-7 record and remains in second position, but missed a golden chance to further close the gap to the top of the table Wildcats.

The 36ers have played two fewer games than the Wildcats and a win on Sunday over Wollongong would have had them just two games behind with the two teams set to clash this Friday night at the Perth Arena.

Adelaide then also plays the third-placed Melbourne Tigers next Sunday, so if the Sixers managed to win all three of those matches they could have been sitting on top of the table by this time next Sunday.

However, that now won't happen and it's all due to a superb performance by Wollongong in front of its home fans.

The Hawks came into the contest on a four-game losing slide but were in control from the outset and put on a scoring clinic in the first half hitting 60 points to lead by 20 at the main break, and then cruising to the 22-point victory.

The most impressive aspect of Wollongong's offensive onslaught was the willingness of all players to share the ball and the scoring.

The Hawks had 25 assists for the game with six players scoring in double-figures.

Diminutive guard Rotnei Clarke again led the way for Wollongong with 18 points, five assists and four rebounds on the back of hitting 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Fellow import Kevin Tiggs also added 17 points, five boards and three assists while centre Larry Davidson scored 14 points, Tim Coenraad 14, Tyson Demos 13 and Dave Gruber 12 to go with his 11 rebounds on the back of shooting an efficient 5-of-7 from the field.

Adelaide captain Adam Gibson led the way for his team with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor while big man Daniel Johnson scored 19 points and Mitch Creek finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Round 18 of the NBL season gets underway with three big matches on Friday with the New Zealand Breakers hosting the Cairns Taipans, Wollongong hosting Townsville and then Perth taking on Adelaide in a top-of-the-table clash at Perth Arena.

Then on Saturday night, Sydney hosts Wollongong and on Sunday, the Melbourne Tigers battle the Adelaide 36ers at Hisense Arena.

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