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R4 Report: Wildcats bigs overpower Hawks in Perth

The inside power of Nate Jawai and Matt Knight, and coolness of Jermaine Beal led the Perth Wildcats to a second win in a week over the Illawarra Hawks, winning 91-62 at Perth Arena on Saturday night. Jawai (16 points) and Knight (10 points, nine rebounds) dominated inside for the Wildcats not only with their production but forcing Hawks' big men AJ Ogilvy and Oscar Forman into foul trouble to nullify their influence. Kevin Lisch was keeping Illawarra in the contest in the first half but Perth dominated with a 17-0 run during the third quarter to put the game beyond doubt to leave Lisch and his coach Rob Beveridge awaiting their first win against the Wildcats since joining the Hawks. The Wildcats improve to a 4-2 record and Beal had the killer touch with 17 points while Casey Prather caught fire in the second half on return from a knee injury with 18 points, including 14 in the final 12 minutes. It was a tough night for the Hawks as they slip to 3-4. Kirk Penney finished with 19 points, Lisch 15 and Jarrad Weeks 10 but they didn’t have enough production particularly from their bigs. [ooyala code="hyYzJqeDoQUxEq87KAA0p0Gby_sGtIV_" player_id="d5b993422b3e4b5ebd61f9e19ca2a6a5" width="1920" height="1080" auto="true"] It was a fascinating battle early with Jawai and Knight inside for Perth and Lisch and Penney scoring for Illawarra, but two Beal triples late in the first quarter saw the Wildcats take a double-digit lead. Lisch turned it on in the second quarter on his old home floor, going for an 8-0 personal run at one point, but Perth still led by four at half-time. Two thunderous Jawai slams to start the third quarter set the tone and then a 17-0 Wildcats run with seven points from Beal and triples to Jarrod Kenny and Prather put the game beyond doubt. The 'Cats led by 21 heading into the fourth quarter and it was party time in the last 10 minutes with Prather on fire, and the home team cruising to the 29-point win. The Wildcats have a double against the Crocodiles next week firstly in Townsville on Wednesday and at Perth Arena on Friday. The Hawks next host the Cairns Taipans on Friday. Perth Wildcats 91 (Prather 18, Beal 17, Jawai 16) Illawarra Hawks 62 (Penney 19, Lisch 15, Weeks 10) BOX SCORE
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