The Wellington Saints have toppled the Bay Hawks on Friday night, handing them their first loss of the season.
It was a closely fort battle for much of the night, but a big fourth quarter by the Saints helped propel them to a 93-85 victory at home.
The Saints outscored the Hawks 28-15 over the final 10 minutes of the game, and were led by the trio of Shea Ili, L.J. Peak and Shaun Bruce, who combined to score 66 of the team’s points.
Ili finished with 26 points, six rebounds and eight assists on 8-of-14 shooting from the field in 38 minutes, while Peak added 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Bruce scored 18 points off the bench for Wellington, adding five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 27 minutes.
Import centre Majok Majok was strong down low for the home side, amassing 12 points and 12 rebounds in his 38 minutes of work.
Jamie Skeen’s big night wasn’t enough for the Hawks, posting 29 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-17 shooting from the field (4-of-8 from three).
Jarrod Kenney continued his productive season with 17 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Australian Angus Brandt notched 16 points and nine boards.
Dion Prewster also turned in 11 points and 10 rebounds for Hawke’s Bay.
There wasn’t much separating the two teams tonight, but the Saints certainly gained an edge thanks to their bench, outscoring the Hawks 26-5 in that department.
The Hawks, who were on top of the Sal’s NBL standings, have dropped to 3-1 on the season. The Saints, meanwhile, move to 2-1.