Tigers, Goulding put away resilient Hawks

Chris Goulding’s seven threes were too much for the Wollongong Hawks as the Tigers won 74-67

 

Melbourne's Chris Goulding made 7/11 from beyond the arc against the Hawks. Source: NBL.com.au

Melbourne’s Chris Goulding made 7/11 from beyond the arc against the Hawks. Source: Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

The Melbourne Tigers fought off a third quarter comeback by the Wollongong Hawks to win by seven points at The Cage on Friday night.

 

The Tigers trailed by four points going into the final quarter after Wollongong had doubled its own score coming out of the half time break.

 

Three minutes into the fourth Melbourne’s Chris Goulding hit his third triple of the half to level the score at 60.

 

With under four minutes to play and the Tigers down, it was Goulding’s long range shooting that put Melbourne back in front for good.

 

Goulding hit back-to-back threes to put the home side up 67-65 with 2:30 to play and the Hawks only managed to score two more points for the rest of the game.

 

It was a disappointing end for the Hawks who had bounced back in the third quarter after only scoring 29 points in the first half.

 

Wollongong struggled to put the ball in the basket and only scored a dismal nine points in the final quarter.

 

Both Melbourne and Wollongong struggled offensively in the first half and a number of consecutive turnovers by both teams contributed to the low scoring affair.

 

The Hawks especially were getting to the basket with ease and got good looks from beyond the arc but couldn’t covert their effort into points on the scoreboard.

 

Wollongong’s first half was summed up when Dave Gruber battled hard for an offensive rebound and then badly missed an easy shot from in front of the ring.

 

However the Hawks had looked like the better team in the third quarter as they regained their offensive composure and led by seven points at one stage.

 

Rotnei Clarke (16 points) and Tyson Demos (13 points) led the Hawks during their run in the third but couldn’t continue to get easy baskets and the team failed to make shots when it counted at the end of the game.

 

“We fought hard, put ourselves in really good position at three-quarter-time but didn’t go on with it, we executed poorly,” Hawks coach Gordie McLeod said.

 

Melbourne coach Chris Anstey praised the hot hand of Goulding who scored 14 of his game-high 30 points in the final quarter.

 

“Some of the shots he hit – there are not many players in the world who could hit them. He made off-balance threes while falling to the side, that’s tough,” Anstey said.

 

The Tigers improve to 7-6 and comfortably hold third place on the ladder while the Hawks drop to 4-8.

 

The Hawks will look for payback when the two teams meet again in Wollongong at the WIN Entertainment Centre on New Year’s Eve.

 

Box Score

 

1

2

3

4

T

MEL

16

20

18

20

74

WOL

10

19

29

9

67

 

Melbourne Tigers – Goulding 30 points, Farrakhan 10 points, Walker 14 rebounds 3 blocks

Wollongong Hawks – Clarke 16 points, Demos 13 points, Tiggs 13 points

 

Written by Mark Halliday

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