Illawarra’s early season struggles continued as they stumbled to a 98-83 defeat to Cairns Taipansat WIN Entertainment Centre on Sunday night.
Two days after theykicked a four-game losing streak, the Hawks (2-5)were outplayed by a Cairns (2-4) outfit thathad ground out only their first win of the seasonagainst Melbourne United on Thursday night.
The visitors were deserving ofthe NBL competition points after a dominant all-round display.
Six Taipans hit double figures in points, with Fuquan Edwin and Mark Worthington (15 points each) leading the way and Nathan Jawai adding 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks off the bench.Illawarra swing man Marvelle Harris led the Hawks with 19 points. A superb team performance from the visitors had the Hawks on high alert early on.
While Hawks centre AJ Ogilvy had six of the Hawks’ first eight points in a tight first quarter, Taipans import Travis Trice had similar production and hit a pretty step-back three and it was 13-all.
Back-to-back threes from Cairns’ Stephen Weigh and then Demon Heuir gave Perth an eight-point buffer two minutes into the second.
Successive Harris baskets had the Hawks trailing 40-36 but Cairns quickly extended their lead back to double digits thanks mainly to Trice.
They didn’t let their stranglehold of the match slip before half-time and took their biggest lead of the match when Mitch McCarron hit a three-point play to have them 52-41 in front at the main change.
Illawarra came up with added enthusiasm in the third, but Edwin’s hot shooting from downtown kept the Taipans’ healthy buffer.
Taipans skipper Cam Gliddonput them in the box seat with a clutch three with two and a halfminutes remaining in the third, which had the visitors 73-60 ahead.
The Hawks had cut it to eight points at the final change.
Worthington rolled back the clock offensively to keep the Taipans in front midway through the fourth.
And when Jawai rammed home a dunk the match was all but theirs at 88-73.
They maintained the margin throughout the closing stages to prevail by 15 points away from home.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.