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Saints light it up from three in impressive win over Jets

13 / 06 / 2021

After splitting their first road trip of the season, the Wellington Saints returned home a sold out TSB Bank Arena with a seven and one record. 

It was the fast improving Manawatu Jets who made the trip down State Highway one for this matchup. 

The Saints addition of six-time NZ NBL champion Leon Henry was a talking point during the week, the six-foot-seven forward adding shooting, toughness, and of course, experience to this Saints squad. 

It was a balanced start early for both teams as the run and gun Jets got to the bucket early. 

The Jets physical defense kept the game even through the first half of the first half quarter. The Saints offense was slow to begin the game, but a three from Tohi Smith-Milner seemed to open things up near the end of the first. 

Still a slim lead in the second, Dion Prewster and Kenneth Tuffin converted twos to push the lead to eight. Smith-Milner was locked on from three early though, as he was the first of the home team to get to double digits. 

Prewster was next as the Saints offense started to heat up from inside and out with the lead at double digits. 

The Jets went on a run of their own as they managed to get it back to under five going into the break. 

Halftime score 38 - 34

Taane Samuel hit a three straight after the break, and then the sweet shooting stroke of Tuffin chimed in with two threes of his own. 

A third Tuffin three saw a frustrated Jets coach call a timeout as the lead exploded out to 17.

It was raining threes after the timeout as the Roach hit two of his own and had a pretty finger roll that had the crowd on its feet. 

One of the best offensive quarters of the year had the crowd in disbelief as the threes rained down, a barely believable 11 of them ripping the net in the third quarter. 

The Jets had no answer as the home team piled on the points in the third, effectively ending the game. 

The visitors started better in the fourth, canning a few threes themselves courtesy of Nikau McCullough. 

The Jets managed to put some respectability on the scoreline in the fourth, but it was all Saints as they nailed a big three at the end of the game to achieve the magic 100 points, the crowd going wild for another Saints win and taking home that 100pt Hell Pizza prize.

Final score 100 - 77

Key Stats

18 made three-pointers for the Saints on an excellent 41 percent efficiency

MVP Tohi Smith-Milner with 21 points and 9 rebounds on 8 of 13 shooting. 

Kenneth Tuffin with 15 points on a perfect 4 of 4 from the field and 4 of 4 from the line.