CROCS DE­FEAT PIGS

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - By ANTONY STE­WART in Ter­ri­gal

AN ex­cep­tional in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance from point guard EJ Row­land saved Townsville from an em­bar­rass­ing de­feat in their thrilling over­time vic­tory against West Syd­ney in their round 15 Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League clash in Ter­ri­gal last night.

Against a team that had not won in its past 16 at­tempts, the Croc­o­diles were made to work hard, sur­viv­ing a game-ty­ing buzzer­beat­ing three-point shot from Ra­zor­back Liam Rush on full­time to run out 111-106 win­ners.

De­spite be­ing out­played for large por­tions of the con­test and trail­ing by one with less than a minute re­main­ing in reg­u­lar time, it was the Crocs’ cool heads that got them home.

Row­land caused havoc for the home team all night, scor­ing 22 points, seven re­bounds, five as­sists and record­ing a stag­ger­ing six steals.

He was well sup­ported by John Rillie, who scored 21 points, in­clud­ing three cru­cial free throws in ex­tra time, while Larry Ab­ney had 18 points and 10 re­bounds in his re­turn from a three­match ab­sence.

While it was scrappy and nowhere near the stan­dard that the Crocs set when they worked their way to six con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries ear­lier in the month, cap­tain Rillie said there were still plenty of pos­i­tives to be found.

‘‘We never seemed to get in any real groove,’’ he said of the match, which was Townsville’s first over­time game in three sea­sons and first vic­tory in ex­tra time in five years.

‘‘But if you watch the Ra­zor­backs play, they are prob­a­bly a top-eight team for 36 min­utes, so we knew they were go­ing to be around the mark.

HOME DE­LIV­ERY

CAP­TAIN’S KNOCK . . . Crocs skip­per John Rillie, left, was again one of his side’s stronger per­form­ers in last night’s win over the West Syd­ney Ra­zor­backs

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