The New Zealand Breakers prevailed over the Townsville
Crocodiles 81-72 in Townsville on Friday night, the home team
slumping to 0-8 for the season.
The Crocs charged from 10 points down behind triples from
Gary Ervin, Todd Blanchfield and Michael Cedar to start the
fourth quarter, and pulled within one with a Larry Abney free
throw midway through the term.
But clutch three-pointers by Thomas Abercrombie and veteran
CJ Bruton pulled their side ahead and proved the decisive
moments of the game.
The Breakers were led by Cedric Jackson (14 points, 12
assists), Darryl Corletto (19 points) and Thomas Abercrombie
(15 points, six rebounds).
For the Crocs, Ervin (18 points) did his best to keep the
home side close, while Peter Crawford scored 12 and
Blanchfield chipped in with 11.
Townsville, without the services of starting centre Ben Allen
who had a stomach bug, were out-rebounded 42-26.
But the night was looking a little brighter when they shot
off to a 9-2 start thanks to eights points by Ervin, but some
poor shot selection allowed New Zealand within two at
The teams traded blows in the second period, but a late
Abercrombie three-pointer from the corner ensured the
Breakers edged ahead 40-35 at the main break.
When Jackson crossed over his man before shooting a fade-away
at the top of the key in the third the Breakers were up by 10
for the first time and looked to be pulling away.
But Townsville's perimeter barrage brought the game to life
as the home side threatened to overrun the defending champs.
Then Bruton, the master of big shots, nailed a transition
three to give the Breakers some breathing space and swing the
Crocs forward Jacob Holmes committed a technical foul on the
next play and the Breakers were ahead by eight, holding off
the home side with some suffocating defence from there.