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Hawks in overtime win vs Bullets in NBL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/12/2016 Matt Harris

Michael Holyfield of the Hawks shoots for the basket during the round 11 NBL match. © Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images Michael Holyfield of the Hawks shoots for the basket during the round 11 NBL match. The Illawarra Hawks survived a stirring Brisbane Bullets fightback to secure a 91-85 overtime win in the NBL on Monday night.

Brisbane rallied from 17 points down midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 77-77 with 11 seconds remaining in regulation time.

The Hawks opened up an early four-point buffer during overtime and held their nerve in the dying minutes to win by six points and cement third place on the ladder.

The Bullets were dealt an injury blow during overtime with Cameron Bairstow crashing to the Brisbane Convention Centre floor as his left knee buckled underneath him during a routine layup.

The initial diagnosis doesn't look good for the former NBA forward who will have scans on Tuesday morning.

Brisbane's Torrey Craig led all scorers with 21 points, while Nicholas Kay (14 points, six rebounds) top-scored for the Hawks who had seven players score 10 points or more.

Hawks coach Rob Beveridge was relieved that his side held on to win after dominating for large periods of what was a scrappy contest.

"I felt we controlled the game and if we lost that we'd be devastated," Beveridge said.

"The way we fought together in overtime was pretty special and I think these guys can start to believe they are a pretty good team."

The Hawks edged a tight first quarter 18-17 and flew out to an early lead in the second as 13 first-half turnovers hampered Brisbane on the offensive end.

Illawarra held an eight-point lead at the main break and soon extended their advantage to double digits as the Bullets also struggled with poor shooting from the field.

Down by 17 midway through the third term, Brisbane rallied to cut the deficit to 10 at three-quarter time and then to five points inside the final two minutes.

Brisbane's tenacity paid dividends as they forced the match into overtime with only seconds to spare, but the Hawks were the hungrier side during the extra minutes as they notched their ninth win of the season.

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