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GAME REPORT

JackJumpers Down Breakers with Record Launceston Crowd

On a night where neither team could get going from beyond the arc, it was MiKyle McIntosh's work inside that was instrumental in a crucial 66-62 win for the Tasmania JackJumpers over New Zealand Breakers in Launceston.

In front of the biggest ever crowd of 3532 at The Silverdome, it was the grunt work  inside from McIntosh that ended up being the difference for the JackJumpers in a win over the Breakers that keeps them in touch with the NBL's top four.

It wasn’t a game for the shooting purists with Tasmania missing their first 18 three-point attempts before big man Jock Perry broke the duck. They finished with 3/27 from beyond the arc for the night but the Breakers couldn’t do much better with 5/32. 

The shooting woes of both teams was summed up with the last attempts from both. Usual gun shooting point guards, Josh Magette hit the side of the backboard for the JackJumpers on his way to 0/8 from deep for the game. 

Peyton Siva then put up an air ball that could have tied the game in the dying seconds to go 0/9. 

However, the work inside the arc of McIntosh to finish with 23 points and four rebounds on 8/13 shooting and 7/8 from the foul line was huge as he continues his best patch of form in #NBL22.

He was the only Tasmania player scoring in double-figures with Clint Steindl adding nine points, Jarrad Weeks nine, and Jack McVeigh eight.

To win in a game where star guards Magette (two points, seven assists) and Josh Adams (six points) only shot a combined 3/18 is significant for the JackJumpers.

JackJumpers coach Scott Roth was proud of his team's fight to get the win and with the reception they got in Launceston.

"The game was ugly with the humidity, the new balls and everything so the whole thing was just a grind for both teams. It was a struggling effort both ways and it wasn’t pretty, but we're grateful and humble to be able to come away with the win," Roth said.

"The best part of the night for me is to be in Launceston and to build our fan base. To be up here, the place was packed and just looking in the stands seeing all the JackJumpers stuff, it's remarkable. 

"To look out and see every kid with JackJumpers gear it has me really excited about the future of this franchise. This part of the state is hugely important to this franchise and us building a foundation with the fans, and we appreciate them all coming out."

Chasson Randle (18 points, four rebounds) and Ousmane Dieng (17 points, nine rebounds, three assists) both had their best games in Breakers colours. Rob Loe had his most significant game of the season too in Yanni Wetzell's absence with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Breakers coach Dan Shamir was frustrated to lose but couldn’t fault his group's fight.

"It's just the general frustration of losing, losing in bunches and being in this situation for a long time," Shamir said. 

"But at the same time we really fought the fight and were tough, and didn’t have just what we needed in order to finish. Now we can analyse why but we gave it everything we had."

An errant Rob Loe elbow split open Josh Adams' lip to send him to the bench but that ended up working in the JackJumpers' favour early in the game with captain Clint Steindl coming on to hit their first six points.

It was Loe and Ousmane Dieng combining for New Zealand's first 11 points giving them the lead until both MiKyle McIntosh and Jarred Bairstow came on to convert three-point plays.

It was Dieng who was the story of the first term for the Breakers with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists but it was the JackJumpers who led 23-19 by quarter-time having scored the last five points.

Kyrin Galloway opened up the second quarter in style with a three ball for New Zealand before Adams made up for lost time with six quick points for the JackJumpers.

The lead continued to exchange hands the rest of the half and it was a buzzer-beater from Dieng that gave the Breakers the narrow 39-38 advantage at the half.

It was Jack McVeigh and Chasson Randle trading buckets to open the second half but when Finn Delany finished strong for an and-one, the Breakers were up four.

Eventually it was Jock Perry who broke Tasmania's drought from beyond the arc following 18 straight misses, but still by three quarter-time it was New Zealand up 53-50.

Tasmania hit back to open the fourth quarter, though, with the opening six points including the last four to McIntosh. That put them up three before Galloway brought the Breakers back level with his second three-point make of the night.

Jarrad Weeks and McVeigh added the JackJumpers' second and third threes of the game to keep them in front, and then another strong McIntosh three-point play still had them leading by three with just under three minutes to go.

Neither team scored for the almost the entire final 2:41 and both teams jacked up some three balls that didn't come close, but the JackJumpers did enough to win by four.

The Breakers now face the Brisbane Bullets on Hobart on Monday. The JackJumpers are next in action on Friday up in Far North Queensland against the Cairns Taipans.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 14

TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 66 (McIntosh 23, Weeks 9, Steindl 9)

NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS 62 (Randle 18, Dieng 17, Loe 12) 

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