PLYMOUTH University Raiders felt the full force of BBL leaders Worcester Wolves at the Pavilions in the league on Saturday night.
Coach Jay Marriott’s team lived with Wolves, who extended their winning streak to 10 games, for 20 minutes before being destroyed in a furious but hugely lopsided third quarter.
Raiders led 41-39 at half-time before being outscored 31-4 to trail by 25 points, 70-45 late in the third.
Wolves guard Zaire Taylor caught fire with 11 of the points in the streak, including back-to-back threes which pushed the gap to 15, 59-44 with 3:20 remaining in the frame.
Wolves boss Paul James punched the air after Taylor’s second three swished in and knew its significance. The tide had turned emphatically for good.
Wolves led by as many as 34, 91-57 late in the fourth in an anti-climactic second half for a near full house at the Pavilions.
Raiders had trailed by nine points, 34-25 in the middle of the second quarter before unsettling Wolves with a 14-0 rally which grabbed a 39-34 lead.
But Wolves led for good on 2/2 free-throws from big-man and former Raider Andreas Schreiber, which made it 43-41 early in the third.
Raiders go 10-10 in the BBL as a result while Wolves climb to 17-3 at the summit.
Marriott said afterwards: “Worcester just made a conscious effort to run at us on offence in the third.
“It was tough, because they didn’t break down our zone defensively in the first half, but we weren’t getting the best looks offensively in the third and Worcester were just ramming the ball back down our throats.
“We just turned into our worst enemy then and kept trying to speed up the game, but at this level you have to control the tempo and get back to what you were doing best.”