22 Dec 2019

Breakers win on the road

8:17 pm on 22 December 2019

The New Zealand Breakers have claimed their first road win of the Australian NBL season with a last-gasp 91-89 victory over the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong on Sunday.

NZ Breakers Scotty Hopson

Scotty Hopson sealed victory for the New Zealand Breakers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Despite the Breakers leading by as much as 15 points in the first half, it came down to the dying seconds for the game between the two bottom teams in the competition to be decided.

The Breakers were up by eight points with three minutes remaining, but three successive Hawks buckets closed the gap to one point.

The Breakers then turned over the ball and committed an unsportsmanlike foul allowing the home side to level scores up with just over 30 seconds left on the clock.

But when it mattered most, American import Scotty Hopson stepped up for the Breakers and coolly knocked down a deep two for the game winner with three seconds left.

The Hawks' AJ Ogilvy could not hit a shot on the buzzer up the other end and the Breakers won by two to make it a perfect weekend to keep them just in the playoff hunt with six wins from 16 games.

Hopson and and fellow American import Sek Henry were the Breakers' top scorers, with both players sinking 21 points.

Whereas it was the exuberance from their youth that kept the Hawks in the game with Emmett Naar a standout with 17 points and eight assists and fellow youngster Angus Glover added nine points and four assists.

Hawks' veteran Ogilvy contributed 18 points and Todd Blanchfield lead the team with 19 points.

Rob Loe provided strong support to Henry and Hopson for the Breakers before a heavy knock of heads late in the third quarter.

Coming off his fractured skull, it was a scary moment but he still contributed 13 points.

Breakers captain Tom Abercrombie hit 10 points and five rebounds and Finn Delany nine points, four rebounds and three assists despite battling foul trouble all afternoon as did American Brandon Ashley.

The Breakers' next game is against the Brisbane Bullets on Friday in Brisbane.