The Perth Wildcats have continued their unbeaten start to the new NBL season with a dominant 101-61 win over the Illawarra Hawks at Perth Arena.
The Cats took advantage of a tired Hawks outfit that lost to reigning champions Melbourne United by one point on Friday night after four periods of overtime before making the long trip west.
Perth led by 12 points at quarter-time on Sunday and extended their lead at every change.
Hawks coach Rob Beveridge said he knew at the airport on Saturday that his side was in for a tough night on the court in Perth.
“We went down with one of the longest games in the history of the game,” he said.
“When you finish up after midnight and have to get home and then you’re jumping on a plane the next day. We travelled over with zero exit row (seats). We had all the guys jammed into cattle class. They couldn’t move.
“A score like that (against Perth) was going to happen despite how much effort you are going to put in.”
After winning in Adelaide on Thursday night, the Cats finish round one as the only side with a 2-0 record.
Coach Trevor Gleeson was able to use his bench extensively but newcomer Terrico White led scorers with 20 points.
Former Hawk Nick Kay and former Brisbane Bullet Tom Jervis have formed a decent big-man combination with Angus Brandt.
The Cats had the game in control at 56-34 at halftime and led the boards 23-11, with that trio featuring.
Gleeson said the side wanted to put in a strong performance for the club’s owner, Jack Bendat, whose wife of 72 years, Eleanor, died during the week.
“We feel Jack’s pain,” he said.
“They are always at the games and all we could do was play as hard as we could so he could sit back (and watch) on TV and be proud of the effort.
“He’s normally in there before the games and is a big part of why we have been successful for so many years.”
Brian Colkin led the resistance for Illawarra.
He scored 11 points late in the second term but couldn’t stop Perth from extending their lead. He finished with 17 points; Jordain Jett added 13.