Coenraad leads Hawks to thrilling victory

Recruit Brad Hill puts one up for the Hawks at the Snakepit. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Recruit Brad Hill puts one up for the Hawks at the Snakepit. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

BASKETBALL

Forward Tim Coenraad poured in 32 points to lead the Wollongong Hawks to a thrilling 106-99 overtime victory over the touring Eastern Kentucky University team on Sunday at the Snakepit.

The lead changed hands throughout the game before the Hawks surged ahead 80-69 early in the fourth quarter.

But the Colonels fought back and took a one-point lead on guard Corey Walden's three-point play with little time remaining.

Wollongong forced the game into overtime and held on for their first win of the preseason.

Coenraad hit 11/17 shots, including 4/8 threes. Oscar Forman and Tyson Demos finished with 18 each, and off-season recruit Brad Hill had 17 in his first game in a Hawks uniform. Walden led the tourists with 28.

Wollongong went into the game without an experienced point guard and were harassed into a whopping 34 turnovers by the Colonels' unrelenting defensive pressure.

Coach Gordie McLeod's makeshift backcourt of Demos and Dom Cooks finished with a collective 19 turnovers.

"They're a really difficult team to play because they're so mobile. They just trapped everything," McLeod said.

"It's really good for our young guards to face that pressure. They really haven't had to deal with that because it's been someone else's responsibility, so it's good for us at this time of the year.

"We were put under a lot of pressure the whole time."

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