Imports shine as Tasmania thrash Illawarra in NBL
The Tasmania JackJumpers have routed the Illawarra Hawks 103-73 in the NBL on the back of classy showings from imports Milton Doyle and Jordon Crawford.
American guard Doyle continued his rich vein of early-season form with 19 points at a packed MyState Bank Arena in Hobart on Thursday night.
He also picked up a team-high nine rebounds as well as five assists to help Tasmania to their third victory in a row.
Doyle’s performance came after he dragged Tasmania across the line against defending champions Sydney Kings and competition heavyweights Melbourne United.
In his first season with the JackJumpers, Crawford was electric at times with 17 points and six assists.
The point guard joined the franchise from Buyukcekmece in Turkey, where he led the Basketbol Super Ligi in scoring with an average of 19.6 points per game.
Jack McVeigh got in on the act with 15 points in what was Tasmania’s equal highest score since joining the national league two seasons ago.
The home team blew the game open with a 31-10 second quarter against the sloppy Hawks, who conceded 11 turnovers by half-time.
Illawarra mustered more defensive grit during periods in the second half, but by then the margin was too wide.
The Hawks have won just one of their opening three matches this season and have now lost 15 of their past 16 games on the road.
They shot at just 38 per cent from the field, while the JackJumpers were on point from deep and shot 43 per cent of three-point attempts.
Tasmania came flying out of the blocks and were up by 13 points before Illawarra cut the deficit to 24-19 at the first break.
Gary Clark top-scored for Illawarra with 16 points, while Justin Robinson had some decent moments early and a first quarter that netted seven points.