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Joel Osborne

Joel Osborne writes

Posted Sunday, April 15th 2018

Vigor’s Scotland denied Commonwealth bronze

Mike Vigor and Team Scotland were denied a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, after falling to New Zealand, 69-79 in the Bronze medal game.

The Flyers captain had ten points and five rebounds off the bench, as Scotland’s Gold Coast campaign concludes with a 4-2 record.

BOX SCORE

WHAT HAPPENED

Scotland opened the game on a 6-0 run behind a pair of threes from Gareth Murray and Jonny Bunyan.

Kieron Achara cleaned up Murray’s miss to give Scotland an early 8-3 lead, which was shortly followed by another score from Murray, who had five first quarter points.

Ali Fraser found himself wide open inside for an easy dunk, but New Zealand quickly responded to narrow the gap to one, 12-11.

The Tall Blacks took their first lead of the game with four minutes to play in the first, before Vigor was introduced to the game.

The Flyers forward gave Scotland a much-needed score to narrow the gap to three before tipping in the offensive rebound to make it a one point game, 18-19.

The Scots scored seven unanswered points to re-take the lead at the end of the first period, 21-19.

A beautiful feed from Bunyan to Nick Collins opened his scoring account for the night, which forced New Zealand to call a timeout with the scores tied at 27.

An increase in defensive intensity from New Zealand sparked a 9-0 run, which was halted by an open layup from Bunyan.

New Zealand’s lead had grown to ten following a three pointer from the wing, but the Scots kept on fighting and cut the lead to six at the end of the first half, 35-41.
Murray muscled his way in close to open the second half before his reverse layup was cleaned up by Vigor to narrow the gap to four.

The Kiwi's lead had stretched to nine once again, which forced Coach Beveridge to use a timeout, but Alex Pledger pushed the lead out to double figures with the two-handed slam.

The margin continued to grow and by the end of the third period, the lead had ballooned to 15 points, 44-59.

Bunyan beat the shot clock to open the fourth period, which was shortly followed by a contested hook shot from Fraser.

Vigor pulled in another two points from an offensive rebound, but the Scots were punished by deadly shooting from Thomas Abercrombie, who went 6/9 from deep on his way to a game-high 26 points.

Fraser Malcolm drained a pair of threes to give Scotland a glimmer of hope - cutting the gap to eight points with 1:51 to play.

An ill-advised pass from Achara allowed New Zealand to run the length of the court for the open lay-up, which ended Scotland’s Cinderella story at the Commonwealth games, final score 69-79.

Photo credit - Basketball Scotland