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GAME REPORT

JackJumpers Show Great Heart to Overrun 36ers

Their coach wanted to build a team around showing grit, determination and a fighting spirit, and those traits were fully on show in Tasmania JackJumpers' come from behind 76-71 win over the Adelaide 36ers at home on Friday night.

Even in the absence of centre Isaac Humphries and captain Mitch McCarron, it was a game the 36ers needed to win back in Hobart where they went undefeated during the NBL Blitz and then in Round 2 of #NBL22 against the JackJumpers.

The Sixers were fresh off tough losses to Melbourne and Illawarra, but with Dusty Hannahs on fire in the first quarter with 11 points, they opened up a good lead of as much as 12.

Adelaide was still up six at half-time and seven at three quarter-time despite a five-minute scoring drought. But the JackJumpers kept their pressure up and eventually forced the Sixers into 24 turnovers for the game.

They scored 28 points from those and with Josh Magette catching fire to help them assume the lead early in the fourth quarter, they grabbed all the momentum especially when Adelaide's two main ball handlers in McCarron's absence Tad Dufelmeier and Sunday Dech fouled out.

But down the stretch, the JackJumpers simply wanted it more. Offensive rebound after offensive rebound saw them end up eventually score the game-sealing buckets especially a three-point play to Matt Kenyon who got the start.

It was a bizarre last couple of plays by Adelaide too. Down three, Hannahs jacked up a three from way beyond the arc and then on the offensive board, Todd Withers took a quick three that wasn’t needed. 

The Sixers then didn’t go for a quick foul to stop the clock and in the end, Tasmania won by five and the Hobart crowd loved it.

Coach Scott Roth let out his passion by firing up the crowd post-match and it was a win that meant a lot.

"This is a privilege what we do and for me, these guys have been just competing relentlessly in practices and video sessions, and in these games," Roth said.

"We haven’t got a couple across the line, but they just showed a lot of relentlessness, grit, compassion for each other and our fans were fantastic to help get us over the line. I love it."

The defensive pressure from Tasmania helped force Adelaide into those 24 turnovers while they also raked in 20 offensive rebounds including a host of them late which proved critical.

Import guards Josh Magette (16 points, seven assists, six rebounds, five steals) and Josh Adams (24 points, five assists, four rebounds, four steals) were huge but far from lone hands.

Kenyon made the most of his start for nine points while Will Magnay's defence was crucial as he finished with three blocks along with eight points and seven rebounds.

It will be a tough loss to swallow for the 36ers but Cam Bairstow did a power of work again for 11 points and 18 rebounds. Dusty Hannahs stepped up for 22 points with Kai Sotto finishing with 12 points and Daniel Johnson 10.

It was an understandably flat Sixers coach CJ Bruton after the game.

"It's definitely frustration and I'm a little disappointed with how we sort of gifted that game away," Bruton said.

"The turnover count wasn’t all in the back court, it was in the front court too and the offensive rebounding gave them an extra 20 shots. Anyone who gets 20 extra shots has a pretty good lead on you to start with. 

"I thought we did a good job for almost three quarters doing the little things that got us the lead and kept us in front."

It was largely basket for basket early going in the game before Dusty Hannahs decided to take over. He had seven of his 11 points in the opening term in just over a minute, including a three from way downtown, and the Sixers were up 24-15 after one.

Johnson stretched Adelaide's lead to 12 to open the second term but a couple of buckets to Clint Steindl and then the next five points to Josh Adams helped Tasmania slowly work back into the game.

Despite Adelaide steadying with seven consecutive points from Cam Bairstow, turnovers were creeping into the Sixers' game again and late triples in the half to Adams and Matt Kenyon helped Tasmania close the half-time deficit to six.

The JackJumpers finished the first half well and then kept that momentum going to open the third term. It was Adams providing the spark and Tasmania scored the first six points to draw level and held the Sixers scoreless for almost five full minutes.

Hannahs ended the scoring drought with a crafty turnaround jumper and then he hit his second three of the game soon after which helped the Sixers settle and go into three quarter-time up seven.

After Sam McDaniel hit his second three ball for the JackJumpers, it was Josh Magette time. Feeling it for the first real time this season, he drained consecutive threes and all of a sudden Tasmania was in front by a point.

Adelaide briefly regained the lead with a bucket to Hannahs and three to Dech, but it wouldn’t last. Tasmania just wasn’t going to let it slip and fought for every loose ball, forced Adelaide into mistakes and the offensive rebounds late were critical in the eventual five-point win.

Both teams now have a short turnaround to games on Sunday with the JackJumpers remaining in Hobart to play the New Zealand Breakers while the 36ers return home to host the league-leading Melbourne United.

HUNGRY JACK'S NBL ROUND 9

TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS 76 (Adams 24, Magette 16, Kenyon 9)

ADELAIDE 36ERS 71 (Hannahs 22, Sotto 12, Bairstow 11) 

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