TIME TIME Olympiad David Andersen came back on the clock with an old shooting exhibition to lead the Illawarra Hawks to a 87-81 Thursday evening at the WIN Entertainment House in the NBL Impacts.
Still playing 39 after several seasons in Europe and two in the NBA, Andersen came into 18 high-season points, as Hawks boosted their record to 3-4.
The American importation Brian Conklin added 15 points and finished Tim Coenraad with 14. Chris McCarron and Casper Ware led Melbourne with 18 points each, while Josh Boone had 17.
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United United's record stands for 5-3 for a Sunday home match against Cairns. Despite the absence of Chris Goulding star guardian (knee injury), the visitors jumped confidently to 15-11 before the Hawks closed with a 15-4 surge to be in front 25-20 in a quarter-time.
Coenraad had the hot hand with nine points, while DJ Kennedy packed Melbourne with seven.
The Hawks controlled the opening records of the second phase, extending the edge to 11.
But only when they were on track to build a double double tray lead, Melbourne raised the bar, breaking the gap to four.
Illawarra restored the momentum to be the lead 51-42 during half term, with a technical support of the Coach Melbourne Dean Vickerman late in the quarter.
Illawarra continued to play out their star opponents, taking a 72-59 leader to the final stage and answering each challenge down the part.
The Hawks support Sunday with another home game against Perth. The Illawarra wins two previous losses to Melbourne this season.
"They came out with lots of energy and intent and we did not match them all the first half," said Vickerman.
"We turned it around and we still had some decent looks to win the game, but they deserved that one.
Vickerman expects Goulding to play on Sunday.
Illawarra coach, Rob Beveridge, was proud of his team's performance after two straight losses.
"There has been a great deal of hate from our own supporters, who are quite disappointed," said Beveridge.
"We had to prove to ourselves that we could compete with any team in the league and we showed us tonight.
"Dave was behind the clock and it was absolutely outstanding. Her conversation, her leadership – what a wonderful performance of a bloke that was 38. He did not look 38 tonight."
ILLAWARRA HAWKS 87 (D.Anderson 18, B.Conklin 15, T.Coenraad 14)
MELBOURNE UNEDIG 81 (M.McCarron 18, C.Ware 18, J.Boone 17)
She was originally published as Hawks wins as team team Andersen buries title team