HULL Wasps fell just short of their most famous win as champions Huddersfield Heat held off a late rally for a 103-99 victory.
Trailing 81-65 at the end of the third quarter, Hull poured in 30 points to league leaders’ 15 to drag themselves to within a point with just a minute remaining.
But the Wasps had no answer for the Heat’s former England international Jason Swaine. The guard, capped 24 times by his country, hit his side’s final 14 points to finish the game with 43.
It was Swaine who iced the win with a pair of free-throws after Hull captain Jamie Goodwin, who scored 28 points, hit one of his five three-pointers to put the Wasps within two with just seconds to go in the game.
Wasps player-coach John Brignell proved a thorn in the side of the Heat’s inside players throughout the game, scoring 35 points.
It was the second of a home back-to-back weekend which saw Hull narrowly see off a young Cheshire Jets side 76-74 the previous day.
Brignell hit 30 points against the north-west outfit, while Scottish forward Rob Birchmore added 11 in an uninspiring performance from the hosts.
Goodwin said: “It’s strange. Cheshire are a decent side with some talent, but they only brought five players. We never got going. I never doubted we would win the game, but we should have seen them off easily.
“Then just a day later, we produce one of our better performances of the season and end on the losing side.
“There is no shame in losing to Huddersfield – some of the shots that Swaine hit were simply ridiculous – but it is frustrating to lose after such a good performance and win after such a poor one. But that’s basketball, I suppose.
“It looks like the battle for fourth place is going to come down to the final game of the season against Stockport Falcons, who are now fifth. We are determined to stay in the top four.”
The Wasps face Stockport on Saturday, March 19, at the Bonus Arena in Walton Street, west Hull. Tip-off is 7.30pm.
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