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Kell stars, double road delight for Sixers

20 Jan
4 mins read

Written By

Dale Fletcher

Trey Kell scores 26 points to lead Adelaide 36ers to back-to-back wins away from home, defeating Illawarra Hawks 96-89 on Saturday night

Adelaide 36ers have made it two-from-two on the road after Trey Kell inspired a 96-89 win against Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre on Saturday night.

Coming off a confidence-boosting win on Wednesday night in Melbourne against South East Melbourne, Adelaide led at every change and held their nerve to record the seven-point success.

Kell was outstanding yet again, scoring a game-high 26 points to go with six rebounds and two assists, while Isaac Humphries scored 10 of his 18 points in the final quarter to go with 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Head coach Scott Ninnis got double figure points from all five starters, DJ Vasiljevic scoring 14 points with five rebounds, but the impact Kyrin Galloway (13 points, six rebounds, three blocks) and Nick Marshall (12 points, three assists, two steals) was enormous.

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Illawarra were led by Hyunjung Lee, who scored a team-high 24 points, while Tyler Harvery had 20 points to go with five rebounds and four assists and Sam Froling paired 14 points with 11 rebounds.

The 36ers started with great intensity at the defensive end, keeping the Hawks scoreless for the opening four minutes of the contest.

Adelaide started the game on a 9-0 run with Vasiljevic, Kell, Galloway and Humphries getting on the scoresheet early.

Kell kept attacking the basket and got himself to the free throw line as the game began at a slow pace before Vasiljevic converted a four-point play to increase the Adelaide lead to 16-5.

Illawarra got spark from their bench with Lee, AJ Johnson and Todd Blanchfield prominent, then Froling began to show some dominance inside as the Hawks cut the Adelaide lead to 21-15 at the first break.

Kell kept rolling to start the second quarter, hitting from downtown, then Alex Starling threw down a big dunk, and when Kell drove to the hoop to score again, Adelaide’s lead went to 30-17.

Adelaide had opportunities to push the margin out further, but the Hawks fought back, Illawarra going on an 8-2 run to cut the 36ers lead to 32-25.

The 36ers kept attacking the basket through Sunday Dech and Marshall, but Lee hit back-to-back three-pointers, his fourth for the opening half, and Adelaide’s lead was just 38-36.

Kell scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes as Adelaide took a 42-39 into the main break.

Harvey hit on back-to-back three-pointers to start the third quarter to give the home side their first lead of the contest at 45-44.

But Kell kept scoring, hit consecutive jump shots, then found Vasiljevic on the break and when Humphries threw down a slam dunk, the 36ers lead was back to 53-47.

The home side hit back straight away, the Hawks again going to their bench, Lee prominent at both ends of the court as Illawarra tied the game away at 58-58.

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Galloway sparked the 36ers, swishing a three-pointer, then converting a three-point play along with some tough rim protection as Adelaide took a 68-62 lead into the final 10 minutes.

Marshall looked to attack the hoop to start the final quarter, and Kell continued to score, but the Hawks kept scoring through offensive rebounds from Lachlan Olbrich.

Galloway swished another three-pointer and battling foul trouble, Humphries checked back in with immediate effect, scoring consecutive baskets as the 36ers lead went to 80-73.

Three-pointers for Lee and Harvey sparked the home side as both teams began to score freely, Illawarra reducing the Adelaide lead to 91-87 with under 90 seconds to go.

Humphries was huge down the stretch, while some clutch free throws from Vasiljevic sealed the victory, sending Adelaide to a 9-14 record.

Adelaide will be back on home court next Saturday night when the 36ers host Cairns Taipans at the Entertainment Centre from 5pm ACDT.

ADELAIDE 36ERS 96 (Kell 26, Humphries 18, Vasiljevic 14) def ILLAWARRA HAWKS 89 (Lee 24, Harvey 20, Froling 14) at WIN Entertainment Centre.

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