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The Wollongong Roller Hawks have come from 7 points down to beat the Queensland Spinning Bullets to take their regular season series 2-1 thanks to a 69-65 win on Sunday afternoon.


 The Roller Hawks went into the weekend with a 1-0 advantage after defeating Queensland in Round 1 but the visitors grabbed the victory on Saturday night winning 77-68 to set up a decider on Sunday.


The return of Bill Latham to the Spinning Bullets’ line up proved hard to contend with as the Paralympian scored 32 point on 15/26 shooting along with 12 rebounds. Tom O’Neill-Thorne also proved tough to contain scoring 31 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.




The Roller Hawks held a 23-21 lead at the end of the first quarter but the Spinning Bullets dominated the second and third quarter outscoring the hosts 37-22.


“We were very reactive,” said Roller Hawks coach Jim Williams. “We let them control the game and with poor shooting we weren’t able to pull ourselves out of the hole we had dug.”


Brett Stibners led the way for the Roller Hawks with 26 points and 8 rebounds with Luke Pople scoring 18 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists.


On Sunday the Roller Hawks showed more aggression in defence but an 23-11 third quarter by Queensland saw Wollongong trailing by 7 points going into the final period.


The Roller Hawks muscled up in defence and restricted the visitors to their lowest quarter of the weekend which allowed them to close the gap in the final period and take the lead with 6:55 left in the game.


“We made some adjustments and contained their shooters,” said Williams. “We still missed far too many easy baskets but at least we were able to create better options through team play.”


Playing his first round for the Roller Hawks was Australian representative Sam White who after coming off the bench on Saturday, found himself in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game.


“They were tough,” said White after the game. “They have a wealth of talent across the board and threats on all sides of the floor and you have to be accountable.”


“After Saturday’s game we looked to focus more on their main shooting threats and make the others shoot the ball.”


“We changed a little in defence to try and put matchups in our favour. Getting the ball out of the hands of their two shooters is key.”


The Roller Hawks have a crucial weekend ahead in Round 7 when they host defending champions Kilsyth.


Wollongong and Kilsyth’s previous game this season went right down to the wire with the Roller Hawks winning 67-66.


Saturday May 28: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 5pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium

Sunday May 29: ROLLER HAWKS vs KILSYTH COBRAS - 12pm @ Shellharbour City Stadium