Nuggets fall to 6-6 after bad defeat

Siler Schneider drove to the hoop and laid the ball off the glass.

The perimeter defence was easily beat, the help non-existent.

It was early and perhaps just a slip-up from the Otago Nuggets.

Then it happened again. And again. And again.

It was not just Schneider, either. The Auckland Tuatara got what they wanted — at the hoop, from the three and on defence.

They led the Nuggets 60-29 at halftime, eventually winning 105-74 at the Edgar Centre yesterday.

It was as bad a half as the Nuggets have had since returning to the league.

As bad as the defence was, the offence was just as poor, struggling to generate good looks and at times looking lost as to what to do.

Likewise, they were killed on the boards — the Tuatara notably having 13 offensive rebounds, to the Nuggets’ 14 total rebounds, in the first half.

It leaves them 6-6, having won just one of their past five games, and that five-game winning streak now seems a long time ago.

The Nuggets remain well in the playoff race, but need to turn things around, and quickly.

On the flip side, the Tuatara clearly have their mojo back, chalking up two wins on their southern swing, snapping a four-game slide.

They were classy from start to finish, shooting well from deep and finishing at the hoop.

It all combined to make for a tough afternoon for the Nuggets.

"When you want things to go well, and they don’t, it’s very frustrating," Nuggets coach Brent Matehaere said.

"We worked hard all week preparing for an Auckland team that obviously was without Chris Johnson. They were still able to come out and execute their offence really well.

"I felt they shot the ball really well. I think they were 46% in the first half from the three-point line — that’s elite. That gets that team going.

"Then if were not making shots, they’re elite in transition."

He felt the Nuggets had played well in the third quarter and finished well down the stretch.

They began to get stops after halftime. Tray Boyd got going — he finished with 19 points — and Keith Williams finally had an impact on the game in transition.

However, the Nuggets had left themselves far too much to do.

Schneider finished with 21 points, as did Dontae Russo-Nance, while Taki Fahrensohn showed his class with 25 off the bench.

In other games, the Taranaki Airs upset the Nelson Giants 85-75, while the Franklin Bulls beat the Canterbury Rams 86-76.



The scores

Tuatara                        105
Taki Fahrensohn 25, Siler Schneider 21

Nuggets                         74
Tray Boyd 19, Sam Timmins 12

Quarter scores: 33-14, 60-29, 87-57.



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