Wildcats trounce Hawks
Perth Wildcats have broken through for their first win of 2020, easily accounting for bottom placed Illawarra 99-77 at WIN Entertainment Centre on Friday night.
After an error riddled first five minutes the visitors lifted their output, new import Miles Plumlee having an immediate impact having signed with the club mid week.
Perth led by ten points at the first break and powered further ahead in the second, Jesse Wagstaff, Bryce Cotton and Clint Steindl all on fire from long range.
The Wildcats lead was as much as 26 points at one stage before Illawarra added some respectability late in the quarter, former player Sunday Dech making an impact for the Hawks.
With the margin standing at 18 points at the half Illawarra mounted a comeback in the third term, Todd Blanchfield continuing his recent good form to make a game of it for Illawarra, the margin cut to 13 points at the final change.
Terrico White and Bryce Cotton steadied things in the last for Perth, who filled their boots in junk time to win by 22 points.
Plumlee finished his first game as a Wildcat with six points and several blocks at the opposite end of the floor in an encouraging first match for the former NBA player.
Cotton led scorers for Perth with 23 points, White with 17 and Mitch Norton added 14 points of his own, while Todd Blanchfield continued his scoring form with a game high 26 points for Illawarra, Sunday Dech adding 15 points and youngster Daniel Grida 11.
The bottom placed Hawks play South East Melbourne Phoenix at home on Sunday, while the Wildcats return home after a four game road stretch to also host the Phoenix in round 16.
PERTH 99 (Cotton 23, White 17, Norton 14)
ILLAWARRA 77 (Blanchfield 26, Dech 15, Grida 11)
IMAGE: The Courier Mail.