The Canterbury Rams have picked up a 92-84 win on the road tonight over league leaders Auckland Tuatara, moving into the top six with four rounds left in the competition.
Mike Karena led the way with 31 points & 11 rebounds on 13/18 shooting; Sunday Dech with 17 points & 7 rebounds, Matt Moyer with 15 points & 13 rebounds and Kaia Isaac and Joe Cook-Green with 9 apiece off the Ram’s bench.
For the Tuatara, Dontae Russo-Nance had 24 points while Siler Schneider had 20 and Roe Loe recorded a 13 point,17 rebound, 5 assist, 4 block stat-line in the loss.
The Tuatara started off the game strong, with a triple from Russo-Nance building a nine-point lead with just over three minutes left in the first. Yet that would be Auckland’s last points scored in the period, as the Rams embarked on a 10-0 run to register their first lead of the game – going into the second up 25-14 thanks to 8 points from Karena and 7 from Dech.
The Rams maintained their lead throughout the second quarter, with a 7-0 run by Cook-Green establishing a 9-point lead midway through the period. The half saw Canterbury up 51-39, led by Karena’s 15pts, and with Dech and Cook-Green registering 9 apiece. For the Tuatara, Iuli had 14pts & Dontae Russo-Nance 10 at the break.
The third quarter would be the Mike Karena show, as the centre scored 14 points in the period on a variety of moves – including a pair of triples as the visitors stretched the lead out to 15 points.
Auckland attempted a comeback in the fourth quarter, led by the guard combo of Schneider and Russo-Nance who combined to score 16 of the Tuatara’s 23 points in the final stanza. A two-handed dunk by Loe with less than three minutes left closed the gap to 7 points, but the Rams would hold on for the gritty 92-84 win thanks to late scoring from Dech and Karena.
Despite the loss, the Tuatara retain their spot in first place, while the Ram’s move into sixth place with this important victory.
SCORE: Tuatara 84, Rams 92
Tuatara: Russo-Nance 24 PTS & 5 ASS | Schneider 20 PTS & 6 ASS | Loe 13 PTS & 17 REB & 5 ASS | Iuli 15 PTS | Barrow 10 PTS
Rams: Karena 31 PTS & 12 REB | Dech 17 PTS & 8 REB| Moyer 15 PTS & 11 REB | Isaac 9 PTS | Cook-Green 9 PTS & 5 ASS & 5 REB
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Mike Karena (Rams) - 10 votes
Rob Loe (Tuatara) - 6 votes
Dontae Russo-Nance (Tuatara) - 5 votes
Sunday Dech (Rams) - 5 votes
Siler Schneider (Tuatara) - 3 votes
Matt Moyer (Rams) - 1 vote
Auckland Tuatara – 15 July at Southland Sharks
Canterbury Rams – 17 July vs Taranaki Airs