The Southern Huskies used their dominant size to deliver a huge 127-74 win over a short-handed and much smaller Taranaki Mountainairs on Saturday night in Launceston.
With news earlier in the week that Chris Early had headed home to the USA, the Airs went in without any imports and despite putting up more shot attempts than the Huskies, it was a huge loss on an ice-cold shooting night for the visitors.
The Airs actually started strongly and over the opening 10 minutes they manufactured 20 shots to 14, however a 30% shooting clip compared with the home team's 57% helped the Huskies to a 29-14 lead after the first period.
Finally some shots started to drop for the Airs early in the second quarter, but defensively some gaps allowed the Huskies to keep scoring quickly. As the quarter progressed the Huskies height continued to cause Taranaki plenty of headaches, while once again shooting over that height at the other end proved increasingly difficult.
At the half the Huskies were all smiles, leading 60-27 after a dominant display, their shots dropping at 58% compared with the Airs at just 26%. It was a concern for the visitors that needed fixing. While the shots weren't falling, it wasn't for a want or trying as they went in at the break having had 38 attempts to the Huskies 36.
Such was the first half effort of the Huskies all eight players suited up had scored, led by Marcel Jones with 11pts. For the Airs it was Houston O'Riley doing his bit with 8pts.
The third period again belonged to the Huskies 34-26, but one highlight for the Airs was a great baseline drive and dunk by young Oscar Robertson. Again, the Airs had more shots, but it wasn't their night as time and time again a miss at one end led to a dunk in transition at the other.
Lochlan Cummings started the last quarter with some long bombs to keep the crowd entertained and as the gap continued to widen you could see the travel was taking its toll on the undermanned Airs as well. To make matters worse, the visitors lost both Houston O'Riley and Oscar Robertson early in the last when they were fouled out of the game.
By the final buzzer most areas of the game sat comfortably with the Huskies, including a massive 60pts scored in the paint and 44 trips to the foul line as the Airs racked up 32 fouls.
The end result was a record 53pt win to the Huskies.
Southern Huskies 127 defeated Taranaki Mountainairs 74
Huskies - Marcel Jones 22pts, Harry Froling 21pts, Craig Moller 20pts & 13rbs, Jalen Billups 17pts, Mason Bragg 15pts.
Airs - Alonzo Burton 18pts, Houston O'Riley 11pts.
Stats That Matter - it was a cold shooting night for the Airs as they took 8 more FG attempts than the Huskies, yet lost by 53pts due to a lowly 34% shooting clip. The Airs also struggled to match the height of the Huskies as the home team dropped 60pts in the paint and went to the charity strip a whopping 44 times.
TAB MVP Votes -