Written by Greg Dawkins, Photos by JDR Creative
USC Rip City claimed a gritty 94-72 road win over the Gold Coast Rollers at Carrara Stadium on Saturday night. After a tightly contested first quarter (20-21), Rip City outscored the home side 27-12 in the second quarter including a 10-0 run midway through the term to lead 47-33 at the break.
Rip City forward Tanner Krebs scored 13 points in the second quarter including eight in the instrumental run.
The NBL Brisbane Bullets star scored a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds. He was joined by fellow forward Louis Ilton (10 points, 10 rebounds) with a double double.
The Rollers fought back to be within one possession (50-52) with three minutes left in the third quarter but Rip City finished the quarter with a 12-5 run and outscored the fourth-seed 30-17 in the last period.
USC coach Nathan Arousi said Rip City's defence and execution of their gameplan set up the victory.
"The Rollers are a high scoring team and we held them to 72 which is an outstanding effort," Arousi said.
"The discipline to stay level headed and not panic when they came back in the third quarter was huge too."
USC big Eric McAlister scored 20 points and showed the guards how it’s done from deep with 4 of 8 three-pointers made including 3 of 3 in the first quarter.
The Tueta brothers – point guard Isaih (17 points) and forward Josh (11 points) – combined for 28 points as Rip City registered five players in double figures.
Gold Coast guard and Krebs' Bullets teammate Jason Cadee registered a triple double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Callum Dalton (13 points) and Anthony Petrie (12 points) also scored in double figures for the Rollers.
Rip City showed hustle to outrebound the Rollers 55-44 including 14-7 at the offensive end and protected the ball better with an 8-3 steals and 8-13 turnovers advantage.
USC Rip City faces two-seed Macka
y in a do-or-die semi-final at Mackay Basketball Stadium next week. In the other semi-final, Cairns will meet top seed Logan at Bendigo Bank Cornubia Park Sports Centre.
The semi-finals will be played on Saturday 4 September at 8pm. All games can be watched live at nbl1.com.au/watch/live-game/north/