The EnviroNZ Franklin Bulls have erased a 19-point deficit to defeat the Wellington Saints 90-73 on Sunday afternoon in Pukekohe.
The Saints came out red hot to open the game, outscoring the Bulls 34-19 in the first quarter. They would lead by as much as 19 points in the second quarter, but hit a brick wall midway through the quarter and an abundance of turnovers led to a 17-0 Bulls run. The Bulls would come back and take a one-point lead late in the quarter behind 12 points, seven assists and three steals from Corey Webster, who was doing a fantastic job commanding the team and facilitating the comeback.
Wellington made a few plays to close the quarter to grab a 54-49 lead at the half. Tom Vodanovich continued to sizzle after his 30-point outing on Friday night, nailing seven 3-pointers in the first half to top the Saints with 21 points. He was making them from all over the floor, as were the rest of the team shooting 11-of-20 from deep as a unit through the first 20 minutes.
The Bulls struck first in the third quarter with a 10-2 run over the first six minutes of the half. The Saints were struggling to counter the Bulls' zone defence and their outside shot wasn't dropping like it was in the first half. Franklin would outscore the Saints 20-9 in the third to take a 69-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
Turnovers were an absolute killer for the Saints and it led to a large number of points on the other end for the Bulls. Wellington committed 18 turnovers through three quarters alone.
The Saints were simply unable to dig out of the hole once they fell behind in the third quarter. It was quite a turn of events after their 34-point quarter to start the game, and with the two teams set to met again next round, the Bulls will almost certainly come out with the zone again.
Wellington managed just 19 points total in the second half. For the Bulls, that's their third straight win and it comes even without Tall Blacks 3x3 guard Jayden Bezzant.
SCORE: Bulls 90, Saints 73
Bulls: Webster 28 PTS, 5 REB, 12 AST, 4 STL | Potts 17 PTS, 7 REB, 3 STL
Saints: Vodanovich 28 PTS, 9 3PM | Cooks 12 PTS, 12 REB | Smith 15 PTS
Full box score HERE.
Stuff MVP Votes
Corey Webster (Bulls) - 10 votes
Giddy Potts (Bulls) - 7 votes
Tom Vodanovich (Saints) - 6 votes
Anzac Rissetto (Bulls) - 4 votes
Xavier Cooks (Saints) - 2 votes
Mike Smith (Saints) - 1 vote
Bulls – June 26 @ Wellington Saints
Saints – June 26 vs. Franklin Bulls
Round 8 Sal's NBL Schedule