Tasmania rain threes in statement NBL win

Fraser Barton |

The Tasmania JackJumpers have lived up to their franchise name with an important 96-86 win over Illawarra after making an NBL record-equalling 22 three-pointers.

Scott Roth’s competition newcomers torched Illawarra (8-7) from beyond the arc on Sunday night, making 22 of the 42 jumpers they jacked up from deep as they claimed their fifth win from their last six outings and levelled their season record at 7-7. 

Sam McDaniel propelled his side in the opening stanza with 20 points by the main break on 8/9 shooting and 3/3 from deep, before American import Josh Adams caught fire in the second to blow the Hawks out of the NBL’s top four.

Adams finished with a game-high 28 points on 8/11 from deep to go with four rebounds and four assists.

His ferocity and pace around the arc left defenders scrambling to cover, and there was no better effort than when he flashed through a high off-ball screen fading to his left, before drilling a crowd-silencing dagger to end any chance of a Hawks comeback.

Tasmania’s onslaught from beyond the arc tied Melbourne United’s record 22 from 2014, and they also became the first team to hit 20 or more three-pointers at the WIN Entertainment Centre in two decades.

Their clinical ball movement and fluidity in offence had Hawks coach Brian Goorjian likening them to the NBA leaders.

“I’m disappointed, I know the team’s disappointed but that’s hard to beat,” Goorjian said.

“It felt like you’re playing the Phoenix Suns out there. It was very, very hard to deal with.

“They’re dangerous. They’re somebody you’ve got to take seriously…I can’t say do I pick them to win the championship – I’m not going to go there, but they can beat anybody.”

JackJumpers coach Roth said the team’s efforts were a statement to the rest of the league and showed their fans exactly what the club can deliver.

“I think some people left us for dead about a week ago when (Will) Magnay got dinged up a little bit,” he said.

“But the guys that are in that locker room, and our staff, and the people back home and Tasmania; this is a statement for the entire state and the people back at home.

We’re gonna keep fighting and great credit to these guys. I’m really proud of them.”

Duop Reath fought hard for Illawarra, tallying 25 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

But on a night where the Hawks had 46 points in the paint, the three ball was the answer as Tasmania continue their push for a top four finish.