Cyclones rain on Rip City's parade in round two smash
BASKETBALL: The CQU Cyclones gave a nail-biting performance at Adani Arena on Saturday night, banking a 79-73 win over USC Rip City in their first home game of the season.
Rockhampton Rockets went toe-to-toe with USC Rip City throughout the match.
The teams drew at full time at 93-all, but in overtime, Rip City's sizeable players and rebounding left Rockets trailing 102-113.
Cyclones' Brooke Blair and Shyla Heal topped the team's point scoring, with 20 and 19 respectively.
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said the team had plenty of opportunities, but could not capitalise on enough.
"We had our chances. Losing in overtime is always difficult, especially when you had the opportunity,” Tweedy said.
"We had the last shot to win the game in regulation and we didn't make that.
"We certainly had our chances to win the regulation and they outplayed us.”
Little separated the teams each break.
"We were down eight at half-time, down seven at three- quarter time and we were coming over the top in the fourth quarter, outscoring them 23-16 but didn't take the opportunities late in the game when we should have sealed that,” Tweedy said.
"We missed some free throws which we needed to make to not give them the opportunity to tie them up.”
Tweedy said the opposing team's size was an issue for his squad, as well as being rebounded 51-31.
"Until we have a full- strength team, we will be dealing with (a lack of size),” he said.
"Hopefully the change on the road trip this weekend will get us closer to a win.
"We have two restricted players, Shaun Bruce and AJ Ogilvy, coming to the group which will bring instant size and change the whole complex of the game, not only offensively but also defensively.”
Jimmy Mitchell was a stand-out again on the weekend, contributing 29 points, four assists, and seven rebounds.
"He was outstanding and was in great form again. He led us in scoring,” Tweedy said.
Adam Gibson and Sean Bruce supported the team from the back court, capping off Gibson's last game with the team.
"He's been outstanding in the two games he played for us and he got 25 points again for us Saturday night,” Tweedy said.
"We'll lose his scoring and ability in guard position.”
Replacing Gibson next weekend will be American import Sean O'Mara.
"He'll bring in size and is big compared to a guard,” Tweedy said.
"Rebounding and shot blocking are two things we're missing at the moment but we're going to obviously improve in that facet in the game.”
Tweedy said the crowd was "outstanding” and he was disappointed to lose in front of it.
"I can assure everyone, we will win a lot of games there this year if we stick with it,” he said.
Next weekend, Rockets will hit the road to play in a triple-header against Ipswich Force Friday at 8.30pm, Logan Thunder Saturday at 7pm and Gold Coast Rollers Sunday at 2pm.
"It's the old saying: one game at a time,” Tweedy said.
"We'll worry about Ipswich first and hopefully generate confidence with a win to help us in the next two games.”
Cyclones will play Ipswich Force Friday at 6.30pm, Logan Thunder Saturday at 5pm and Gold Coast Rollers Sunday at noon.
QBL Round Two Results
CQU Cyclones 79 - 73 USC Rip City
Rockhampton Rockets 102 - 113 USC Rip City