Breakers pip Taipans
THE Breakers did the business again on New Year's Eve, struggling past the Taipans 66-61 in a sluggish contest in Cairns.Jamar Wilson had a game-high 23 points, but the next best was Rychart with eight points.
The Taipans were never out of the contest despite not clicking in offence, and ultimately had themselves to blame for the result.
They shot a woeful 15-36 from the free-throw line at one stage missing six in a row to finish the first quarter.
Twenty-three turnovers did not help either.
Cairns import Shane Edwards had a game to forget, coughing it up softly twice in the final stanza before being subbed, while Cam Gliddon and Jamar Wilson had a costly nine turnovers between them.
The arm wrestle turned into an actual one when Dillon Boucher and Alex Loughton finished in a tangle on the ground, in a scuffle that saw the Breaker fouled out of the game with five minutes to play.
The near-capacity New Year's Eve crowd of 5217 was denied a free-flowing game as both teams struggled to get any momentum in offence.
The Taipans started promisingly with some quick passes inside giving them an early 8-7 lead.
But they didn't score a point in the final five minutes of the half, missing six consecutive free throws as the Kiwis took a 16-8 buffer to the first break.
Their woes from the charity stripe continued all game, with the Snakes having missed 17 of 27 by three quarter time.
The hosts had every right to be out of the contest, with the consistent hand of Jackson constantly piloting the Breakers to points while Hudson chipped in with buckets of his own and Mika Vukona (eight rebounds) was his usual strong self off the boards.
But a 10-point run in the second quarter and another mini-surge in the third meant the Snakes never went away.
Their inability at the charity stripe, combined with continuously costly turnovers would cost them though.
New Zealand Breakers 66 (Jackson 17, Hudson 12, Bruton 10) d Cairns Taipans 61 (Wilson 23). Crowd 5217 at the Cairns Convention Centre.
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Out of my way: Jamar Wilson, who top scored for the Taipans at the Cairns Convention Centre last night, makes a forward play. Picture: TOM LEE