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Big NBL road wins for Tuatara, Rams

The Auckland Tuatara and Canterbury Rams made light work of their opponents in the latest National Basketball League (NBL) action.

The Tuatara overcame a poor first quarter to deal with the Manawatu Jets 98-79 in Palmerston North, while the Rams built a lead early and never looked back in an 87-65 win in Invercargill on Saturday night.

Former Tall Blacks guard Corey Webster and Australian Cam Gliddon produced similar stat-lines for the Tuatara. Webster scored a game-high 22 points (9/19 FG, 4/11 3pt), five rebounds and five assists, and Gliddon 21 points (7/13 FG, 6/10 3pt), five boards and five dimes.

Tom Vodanovich put up 19 points (7/13 FG, 3/8 3pt), while last year's league MVP Rob Loe came up just short of another double-double, finishing with 18 points (7/18 FG, 4/5 FT), nine rebounds and four assists.

American forward Troy Baxter Jr led the Jets with 21 points (7/14 FG, 4/10 3pt) and eight boards, while fellow import Mustapha Heron managed 20 points (8/22 FG), eight rebounds and four assists.

Young Kiwis Campbell Scott and Liam Judd also made contributions, with Scott putting up 16 points (6/16 FG), nine boards and four assists, and Judd 16 points (6/9 FG, 4/6 3pt). Manawatu's lack of depth was on display, with no points off the bench.

The Jets shot out of the gate, scoring 32 points in the first quarter to build a 15-point lead. However, the Tuatara clamped down, allowing just 25 points in the second and third periods, turning the deficit into a seven-point lead by halftime and 20 points entering the fourth.

The Tuatara (6-2) host the Bay Hawks (2-3) in Auckland next Saturday (tip-off 7.30pm), while the Jets (1-6) are at home again next Sunday (tip-off 6.30pm) for the league-leading Wellington Saints (5-1).

All five Rams starters scored in double-digits at Stadium Southland, led by American forward Kenyon Buffin Jr's 24 points (9/17 FG, 4/10 3pt), eight boards and three steals) and Australian centre Lachlan Olbrich's 19 points (7/18 FG, 5/7 FT) and a monster 20 rebounds.

Tall Blacks guard Taylor Britt had 14 points (6/8 FG), eight assists and three steals, Kiwi forward Walter Brown 14 points (7/9 FG) and seven boards, and James Walker Jr 10 points (4/19 FG, 2/11 3pt).

Captain Alonzo Burton led the Sharks with 19 points (7/9 FG, 5/7 3pt) and two steals off the bench, while Callum McRae had a big double-double with 16 points (7/18 FG), 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocks, and American guard Caleb Asberry 14 points (5/13 FG, 3/4 FT), eight boards and six assists.

Canterbury led by 10 after the first period, by 17 early in the second and 20 by halftime. Southland's best stretch came in the third quarter, as Burton connected on four triples in a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 12 points.

The Rams (4-2) head back to Christchurch to welcome the Otago Nuggets (3-2) on Thursday (tip-off 7.30pm), while the Sharks (0-7) will chase their first win against the Nelson Giants (2-4) at home on Friday (tip-off 7.30pm).

Auckland Tuatara 98 (Corey Webster 22, Cam Gliddon 20, Tom Vodanovich 19, Rob Loe 18) Manawatu Jets 79 (Troy Baxter Jr 21, Mustapha Heron 20, Liam Judd 16, Campbell Scott 16). 1Q: 17-32, HT: 48-41, 3Q: 77-57

Canterbury Rams 87 (Kenyon Buffin Jr 24, Lachlan Olbrich 19, Taylor Britt 14, Walter Brown 14, James Walker Jr 10) Southland Sharks 65 (Alonzo Burton 19, Callum McRae 16, Caleb Asberry 14). 1Q: 21-11, HT: 43-23, 3Q: 63-49


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