Ballarat Rush came away empty handed from its clash with Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, despite a strong showing for much of the match.
Rush led by double figures during the third quarter and held that lead deep into the term, however BACOE finished strongly to hold a one-point advantage at the final change and was able to maintain that throughout the final term.
Rush managed to draw level late in the last quarter of the South East Australian Basketball League hit-out, before Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence converted for two points. Rush earned a couple of shots from the free-throw line, but could only drain one basket.
BACOE then controlled the ball for the final 25 seconds, before a three-pointer on the buzzer extended the margin to four points – 85 points to 81 the final score.
Rush coach Eric Hayes was disappointed with the result, citing the loss of momentum during the third quarter as the key breakdown for his side.
Hayes said once Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence got on top, Rush struggled to control the home side and regather the momentum.
“It’s a bit disappointing, but they played really well,” Hayes said.
“We probably weren’t as good as we’d like to be.
“We struggled to stem the flow once they got going, they were playing with confidence and they gained some great opportunities.
“We changed up some of our structural things, but we struggled to consistently make that adjustment to stem the flow.
“Those extra effort things that we were doing (early in the third), maybe we got a little bit tired, we let them get going again.
“We had a bit of momentum then it was broken.”
Import Courtney Walker was again impressive and top-scored with 19 points while Hsi-Le Bao had nine rebounds.
Rush will now turn its attention to Canberra on Saturday night, tip-off at 7.30pm.
BACOE 20 46 64 85
RUSH 21 47 63 81
POINTS - Walker 19, Bao 15, Spencer 14, Rinaldi 13, Williams 9, Wynne 5, Amoore 4, Constable 2
REBOUNDS - RUSH 36 (Bao 9, Williams 8), BACOE 43
ASSISTS - RUSH 16 (Walker 5, Williams 4), BACOE 15
STEALS - RUSH 12, BACOE 12
BLOCKS - RUSH 4, BACOE 1
TURNOVERS - RUSH 19, BACOE 19
SHOOTING - field goals, RUSH 30/66 (45%), BACOE 37/75 (49%)
three-pointers, RUSH 6/16 (37%), BACOE 30/56 (53%)
free throw, RUSH 15/18 (83%), BACOE 4/9 (44%)