United’s Landale lets loose on Phoenix

A dominant Jock Landale sparked Melbourne United to a blowout 93-82 win over South East Melbourne Phoenix in the eighth edition of the Throwdown. The win improved United to 22-6 on the season and ensures they stay clear on top of the ladder, one game ahead of the Perth Wildcats in the loss column.

Trailing 31-24 after one, United gained control during the second quarter, taking their first lead at 37-36 on a pair of Chris Goulding free-throws with 5:25 to play in the first half.

With Phoenix big men Yannick Wetzell and Ben Moore both picking up two fouls, Landale was the destructive force on the floor, tallying 15 points and seven rebounds through two quarters as Melbourne turned the tables to lead 52-47.

Landale continued to pour it on in the second half, with the Olympic squad member overpowering the Phoenix defence from all areas. Burying a straightaway triple with 5:24 to play in the third quarter, the 25-year-old brought up a season-high 24 points to give United a 66-52 lead.

Landale would finish the night with 27 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in just 23 minutes, in the type of unstoppable performance United fans envisaged when he signed in the off-season.

UNITED TIDY THINGS UP

Turnover happy and out-hustled on the glass in the loss to Perth on Wednesday night, United vowed to correct their struggles against SEM. They did just that, with the turnover count locked at 13 and United winning the overall rebounding battle 44-34 and 15-11 on the offensive glass.

Mitch McCarron. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

BENCH WEAPON

One of the best scorers in the league, Scotty Hopson continues to come off the bench for United. The unfamiliar role is due to a combination of nagging injuries for the forward throughout the season and United’s absurd depth.

Taking a lead role in second unit line-ups, Hopson took over at stages, tallying 15 points on 2-for-4 shooting from three in 19 minutes.

SYKES RETURNS

Explosive Phoenix guard Keifer Sykes has suffered through a number of injuries this season, limiting his appearances to just 15 out of a possible 27 games entering the Throwdown.

It took fewer than 30 seconds for the Phoenix to get visual representation of what they have missed in Sykes’ absence, as he soared for a defensive rebound before immediately taking the ball coast-to-coast in a flash, absorbing contact from Sam McDaniel to finish a lay-up for the game’s first basket. Sykes finished the night with eight points and five assists in his first game back.

ANDERSON SIGNS ON

A new but very familiar face checked into the game with 3:03 to play, with former NBA player and Olympian, David Andersen signing with Melbourne for the rest of the season. The 40-year-old joins the team as an injury replacement for Jack White, in what is a welcome return for the 2018 United championship winning squad member.

Source: Read Full Article