Rams Grind Out Vital 81-70 Win In Tasmania

The Canterbury Rams continue to firm as a likely contender at this year's Sal's NBL Final 4 after grinding out an 81-70 win in Hobart over the Southern Huskies.

Facing off for the first of three games against each other in a little over a week, the Rams started strongly with a 21-10 opening quarter and never looked back, relying on their trademark defence to yet again make shooting difficult for their opposition.

Despite constantly working themselves back from a double-digit deficit, the Huskies just couldn't land shots (34.9%) against Canterbury's hard-nosed defence and in the end the visitors proved to have too much time and patience to ensure the win.

Emmett Naar turned in one of his best games of the season, finishing with 16pts, 9rbs and 6ast in a game MVP performance, while Cam Gliddon (18pts) and Isaiah Wilkins (18pts, 10rbs) both provided strong support.

For the Huskies, who at one stage trailed by as much as 18pts, no matter how much they tried it just wasn't to be their night, Jalen Billups (17pts, 13rbs) delivered another big game, Marcel Jones added 15pts and Tre Nichols scored 13pts. For all three players, their return was below their season averages, again highlighting the defensive job applied to them.

The victory marked Canterbury's sixth in a row and almost certainly has them with one foot in the Final 4, where as the Huskies need to find more wins as they seemingly now find themselves in a battle with the Southland Sharks for the fourth and final spot available for July's big event.

The two teams clash again on Saturday night, this time in Launceston where the Huskies must find a way to bounce back.

(Photo credit: PhotosportNZ)

# Note - the official final score is Southern Huskies (70) - Canterbury Rams (81). The initial Live Stats score is incorrect.


Southern Huskies 70 lost to Canterbury Rams 81

Huskies - Jalen Billups 17pts & 13rb, Marcel Jones 15pts, Tre Nichols 13pts.

Rams - Isaiah Wilkins 18pst & 10rbs, Cam Gliddon 18pts, Emmett Naah 16pts, 9rbs & 6ast.

Stats That Matter - the Rams defence was at its best yet again and consistently put the Huskies under pressure when shooting, leaving the home team with a lowly 34.9% shooting clip. 

Talking Points

  1. Yet again the Rams proved that quality defence wins games. The Huskies just had no room to breathe in this contest, they always looked under pressure and were continually put out of their offensive structures. While the Hawks and and Saints have offensive potency, its the Rams who have gone in a different direction and so far it is working wonders for them.
  2. The Huskies have started a 4-game stretch that you would think will ultimately decide their Final 4 chances in their inaugural season. After this game they sit at 0-1. Their next three games are against the Rams, Rams and Sharks. The season is on the line for the Huskies right now. How will they will respond?
  3. Isaiah Wilkins is such a cool player. Easy to watch him do his thing, he is just head down and bum up with a relentless work ethic to do his absolute best for his teammates. At both ends of the floor he is a respected workhorse. You can tell he is a no-fuss athlete and let's his game to do the talking for him. He could well turn out to be the most unassuming and underrated import of the season. He is all class.



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