Cairns' Travis Trice (left) scored 31 points against the Breakers.
Cairns' Travis Trice (left) scored 31 points against the Breakers. BRIAN CASSEY

Trice does the trick as Taipans triumph

BASKETBALL: Travis Trice was given a "must do better” message from Cairns coach Aaron Fearne after only scoring 10 points in last week's loss to Melbourne United.

It seems he got the message after producing a game-high and match- winning 31 points for the Taipans in their 91-80 defeat of the New Zealand Breakers at the Cairns Convention Centre.

The 23-year-old American import gave his countryman David Stockton the runaround, hitting a number of jump shots as the Taipans slithered off the bottom of the NBL ladder.

Captain Cameron Gliddon and giant centre Nathan Jawai also stood up for the home side down the stretch, but Trice's four-point play with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter proved decisive as the Breakers threatened to spoil the party.

Trice got busy early in this game and had seven points, just three off last week's effort, in the opening three minutes.

On the other hand, New Zealand's sharpshooters Kirk Penney, Thomas Abercrombie and Corey Webster had off nights from the field, shooting a combined 11 from 29.

The home side marched out to to a 53-38 half-time lead on the back of Trice's scoring.

The visitors hit back with a 15-7 run in the third quarter and the lead was cut to just five midway through the final term.

But it was Cairns and their main man Trice making more plays down the stretch for the 11-point win.

Round eight results (home team first): Cairns Taipans 91 New Zealand Breakers 80, Brisbane Bullets 81 Adelaide 36ers 101, Melbourne United 95 Sydney Kings 92. Playing Sunday night: Perth Wildcats v Illawarra Hawks. Playing Monday night: Sydney Kings v Adelaide 36ers.



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