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For the second time, Varsity pushed the City Rise Bombers right to the end.
But for the second time, the Bombers closed out a tight one.
They held a three-point lead, before hitting their free throws down the stretch to claim a 97-90 win in men’s club A grade on Saturday.
Tom Davison top-scored with 26 points, while Steve Robinson and Olly Smith added 19 and 17 respectively.
Tom Cowie also turned out for the Bombers, his first game in Dunedin after playing in the NBL for the Canterbury Rams.
The Smith-Robinson duo accounted for the majority of the Bombers’ scoring early as they took a 20-17 lead at the first quarter.
But Varsity hit back as Henrie Njob-Anti (14 points) piled on 10 in the second quarter to help it to a 52-44 halftime lead.
The Bombers regained control though, Davison chiming in with 13 in the third quarter.
Joseph Euphrat (20 points) and Kyle Owen (13 points) helped Varsity stick around, while Micah Lepaio (11 points) hit a pair of three-pointers to leave it at 75-73 at the final break.
But the Bombers closed the game out more effectively, even in the absence of Smith, who left with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
Cowie scored seven points down the stretch to put the Bombers in a position to win the game at the line.
The win took them to a 5-3 record, opening up a two-game lead over the Andy Bay Falcons and Magic Lions who are tied for fourth.
Varsity slumped to 1-7, although it has been much more competitive than that suggests.
Its results include an overtime loss and two close defeats to the Bombers.
The Mid City Magic took a 20-point lead to halftime to beat the Magic Lions, for whom returning Otago Nugget Darcy Knox turned out, 82-68.
The backcourt duo of Joe Ahie and Mitch Hughan scored 22 and 17 points respectively for the Magic.
In the late game, the St Kilda Saints delivered a similarly strong first half to beat the Andy Bay Falcons 98-68.
The result extended the winning streak of the Saints to eight matches.