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Saints Apply Heat To Leaders

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Saints Apply Heat To Leaders

Wellington, June 5 NZPA - Wellington Saints continued applying heat to the National Basketball League leaders by squeaking past the Hawke's Bay Hawks 85-84 in Porirua tonight.

Saints left it until late to get in front of the sixth-placed Hawks and move level with Waikato Pistons on 11 wins from 14 games. Both trail leaders Nelson, who have lodged 12 from 14, with two rounds remaining before the playoffs.

In a scrappy first half the Hawks held a slender 38-36 lead but extended that lead to as many as 13 midway through the third quarter with the Saints offence struggling to fire.

A rally by the hosts in the third saw them close to within four and they hit the front early in the final stanza.

The scores were level again at 80-80 with just over three minutes to play but some some nervy play by both side Mike Efevberha -- who produced a game-high 29 points -- gave the Saints the edge.

Mark Morison hit a three-pointer on the buzzer to get the Hawks within one at the death.

Arthur Trousdell stood up for the Saints with a 17 point-10 rebound double.

Chris Daniel top scored for Hawke's Bay with 16, followed closely by David Cooper and Ben Hill with 14 each.

In a battle of the league's cellar-dwellers, the Auckland Stars beat the winless Taranaki Dynamos 94-84 in New Plymouth.

Auckland trailed 42-43 at halftime but pulled clear in the third period, with

Hayden Allen scored an influential 30 points, while Stars teammates Casey Frank and Blagoj Janev chipped in with 24 and 19 points respectively.

Phillip Gilbert led Taranaki with 30 points.

NZPA

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