HULL Wasps suffered their first defeat in the league this season as they were beaten by a tough Burnley side 88-73 at the Bonus Arena after a fourth-quarter collapse.
Hull levelled a see-saw encounter with less than three minutes to go, but could not stop their promotion rivals scorching an extra 15 points from beyond the three-point line in the game’s final stages.
Player-coach John Brignell, who scored 23 points in the defeat, said the play-offs would be a distant dream if his side could not find a way to stop long-range shooters in the final stages of games.
Brignell said: “We cannot let that happen again. We have to be able to produce our best basketball down the stretch in the fourth quarters of games.
“Perhaps because all season we have been putting games to bed in the first half, we were not used to having to fight for a win in the fourth quarter.
“Our offence has been good enough to carry us through bad performances against poor teams this season, but it was never going to be enough against another good side.
“We need to get back to what we know, and that’s defence. All summer, we talked about the importance of being the best defensive team in the league. We were far from that last weekend.
“We persevered with the zone defence that has been so impressive this season and found it tough to get out to Burnley’s three-point shooters.
“Maybe we should have looked at a man-to-man defence early in the game, but I think it is too easy to say that’s the reason we allowed their shooters to get hot from the outside.
“Whether we are in a zone or a man, we need to rotate better and play defence with our hands up.
“It is now so vital that we get two wins next weekend. We will make some changes and look at starting the game with a tougher, more defensive line-up and bring our shooters off the bench to change the game later on.”
Captain Jamie Goodwin scored 17 points for the Wasps, while guard Ade Blatherwick hit 11.
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