Red-hot Wildcats continue winning run

WINNING their sixth match in eight games, Perth Wildcats are truly back in business, thanks to another standout performance from Bryce Cotton, who was well supported by Kristian Doolittle. The pair put Adelaide 36ers to the sword in a packed out Adelaide Entertainment Centre to win by 18 points, 100-82.

It was a memorable win for the Wildcats who made it two on the bounce since the heartbreaking loss to Melbourne United on December 23, having controlled proceedings in a high-scoring opening term. They added 34 points to 29, before extending the lead out to six by the main break.

The dominance really started in the third term where the Wildcats poured on 28 points to nine which mounted a 25-point advantage heading into the final term. While Adelaide did manage to regain some respect in the last 10 minutes, the game was done and dusted and Perth brought up the ton to win, 100-82.

Despite the 36ers quelling Doolittle’s rebound influence – restricting the defensive star to five for the game – and recording seven more as a team for the match compared to the Wildcats (41-34), it was their long-range shooting that let them down.

The 36ers only drained four of 20 from beyond the arc – a poor 20 per cent efficiency – while Perth went to work and put up 12 of 25 – 48 per cent – while the work from the charity stripe was even more forgettable. The Wildcats nailed 16 of 17 – 94 per cent – compared to the 36ers’ 12 of 25 – 48 per cent – which was another costly factor for the home side.

Cotton shot four of seven from beyond the arc to essentially equal the entire 36ers side makes from three-point range, on his way to 24 points, six assists and two rebounds. Though Doolittle only had the five rebounds, he also had two steals and knocked down 19 points in just under half an hour on court. Next Star Alexandre Sarr helped himself to a quick 12 points in 13 minutes, shooting at 83 per cent, while Jesse Wagstaff also had an efficient 11 points in 14 minutes off the bench.

For the 36ers, Isaac Humphries was a lone scoring hand, shooting 11 of 15 from the field on his way to 24 points, as well as five rebounds and two steals. Trentyn Flowers (13 points, six rebounds) was the other player in double-digit points, while Alex Starling came off the bench to put up five points, seven rebounds and three assists in 16 minutes.

Adelaide 36ers will only have a few days to regroup before heading to the WIN Entertainment Centre on Sunday to clash with Illawarra Hawks. Perth Wildcats do get an extended break before crossing down south to tackle the equally in-form New Zealand Breakers at Spark Arena on Sunday, January 7.

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