DJ spark not enough as 36ers fall to Tassie
A final quarter scoring run from DJ Vasiljevic was not enough as Tasmania JackJumpers took home an 82-72 win against Adelaide 36ers on Brett Maher Court on Saturday night.
Vasiljevic, who scored a team-high 16 points, converted eight points early in the final quarter but the JackJumpers, led by Jordon Crawford (17 points) and Jack McVeigh (14 points), did their damage from the three-point line.
In front of a sold out crowd of 9440 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the visitors caught fire from beyond the arc, connecting on 12 triples in the 10-point success.
Isaac Humphries was again a shining light under the hoop for the home side, scoring 10 points to go with seven rebounds, while Alex Starling (seven points, six rebounds), Nick Marshall and Trentyn Flowers were sparks off the bench.
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Tasmania started with back-to-back dunks through McVeigh and Marcus Lee and when Milton Doyle connected on a three, the visitors had a 7-2 lead.
The fans were brought to life when captain Mitch McCarron went upstairs for a big dunk, then Jacob Wiley soared above the rim, but defense was on top at both ends.
Flowers was injected into the game to instant effect, scoring the final four points of the quarter as the visitors took a 17-15 lead into the first break.
Tohi Smith-Milner connected from downtown to open the second quarter to give the 36ers the lead for the first time in the match, then Starling was too strong inside for a 20-17 advantage.
Doyle then scored three straight hoops for Tasmania as the visitors retook the lead 29-26, but Humphries then imposed himself on the game, scoring back-to-back baskets.
Crawford, then McVeigh hit consecutive three-pointers, Jason Cadee tried to match it on the half time buzzer but caught iron as the JackJumpers took a 39-31 lead into the main break.
The home side couldn’t find the basket early in the second half as Tasmania built a game-high 46-31 lead on the back of a 7-0 run, ended by a McCarron triple.
Marshall was brought into the contest and straight away found the basket on a tough drive against Will Magnay, then the 198cm swingman found Starling as the home side brought the margin back to single digits.
McVeigh continued his great night as the visitors again increased their advantage as Flowers tried gallantly to keep his side in the contest, Tasmania holding a 63-47 lead going into the final 10 minutes.
Vasiljevic then sparked the home crowd early in the final quarter, scoring eight quick points to reduce the margin again to single digits, but Tasmania held onto their advantage as much as the 36ers tried to get back into the contest.
Adelaide is back on home court on Friday night when the 36ers host South East Melbourne Phoenix at the Entertainment Centre from 7pm.
TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 82 (Crawford 17, McVeigh 14, Doyle 13) def ADELAIDE 36ERS 72 (Vasiljevic 16, Humphries 10) at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.