Worcester Wolves secured their tenth win from their last eleven outings as they strolled to a comfortable 91-76 win over Bristol Flyers at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.
Boosted by a sparkling 19-point debut from new-signing Michael Ojo, Wolves led from start to finish, always having enough in the tank to keep their visitors at bay.
Elvisi Dusha was another player making a sizeable impact on the stat-sheet, totalling a career-high 17 assists. By six minutes into the match he had already laid on a quartet of passes for his team mates to convert, before stepping aside for Ojo to take to the court.
Ojo’s first action was to set up a three-pointer for Dallin Bachynski. A 15-11 lead widened out to 27-19 by the close of the opening quarter.
Robert Gilchrist set out his stall on defence by swatting away former Worcester guard Roy Owen’s first shot attempt. Forming a circus-strongman tandem with Bachynski, the Wolves big men muscled to repeated close-to-the-basket scores.
At three minutes remaining in the half Ojo sank a tidy jumper from the left-corner for his first points in a Wolves vest. By the interval he had quickly slotted in seven further points to aid a healthy 53-44 advantage.
It would take nearly four minutes after the break for Bristol to progress their side of the scoreboard. In the meantime Bachynski kept rolling offensively, taking an alley-oop pass from Dusha and spotting an unguarded Alex Navajas when Flyers flapped to vainly double-team him.
The third period ended with Worcester firmly in control at 74-61, allowing Coach Paul James to rotate his troops over the final quarter and coast to the victory.
By the final hooter Bachynski had posted another of his by-now-traditional double-doubles, with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ojo’s 19 points were matched by Gilchrist, who also put forward an intimidating five blocked shots.
James declared his satisfaction, saying: “That was a fine team display. We stayed in control and I never doubted that we would get the win.”
Pressed about individual performances, James replied: “Even though Michael was still getting his legs back after flying in from California he still had a great game. He only showed us a glimpse of what he can do.
“Dallin and Robert dominated inside. Dallin has really improved as the season has gone on and he’s become more aggressive.
“Dusha is doing what I brought him here to do. He’s running the team and being a facilitator.”
Wolves travel to Cheshire Phoenix this Sunday (tip off 5.30) for a BBL Trophy quarter-final encounter against the same side they will face in the Cup Final at Arena Birmingham on 28 January.
“We want to win every game in every competition. We’ll keep playing hard, keep playing the way we have been, and the performances will follow,” added James.
Match report by Colin Taylor
Image credit Razorlight Imagery