WORCESTER Wolves were let down by a torrid third quarter performance as they slumped to a heavy 78-98 blowout defeat to Manchester Giants at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.

Captain Maarten Bouwknecht opened the evening with a three-pointer from the top of the key, but this would be as good as it got for Wolves.

Manchester’s latest recruit Justin Satchell replied with a swift five points to signal his side’s intent. Jordan Williams notched a trio of scores and kicked the ball out for Nathan Ramsdale-Owen to connect from the corner.

An 18-24 first period deficit closed to just 27-28 three minutes later after a Mike Parks slam prompted a Giants time out.

While the break in play was sufficient to reset the visitors’ concentration, Worcester’s composure began to waver with Sam Cassell Jr inspiring a 16-7 run, putting Manchester 44-35 to the good by half-time.

The match was truly broken open by midway through the third period after Donovan Marshall-Johnson swept past static defenders to thump the ball through the hoop. The next play saw a mid-court steal and simple layup for Cassell Jr to confirm dominance at 57-43.

Matters were to get even worse for the hosts as the unstoppable Cassell Jr and the red-hot Satchell duly made hay from every position on the court, powering their side to an irretrievable 79-53 advantage entering the final quarter.

A flurry of late baskets from Brandon Anderson and occasional inside success for Parks and Williams were sufficient to prevent any widening of the margin of defeat.

Parks compiled a double-double performance of 23 points and 15 rebounds while Williams completed a similar feat with a 15 point/11 rebound display. 20 points for Anderson was the only other significant Worcester output.

Satchell impressed on his Manchester debut with 25 points, including five three-pointers, supported by Cassell Jr’s 19 point showing.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Wolves’ coach Matt Newby.

“We were disconnected and didn’t have the right blend on offence. But you have to give credit to Manchester. They came on to us with a very strong reaction to a six-game losing streak which we just didn’t handle.”

Next up for Wolves will be to welcome Plymouth Raiders to the University of Worcester Arena in the last eight of the BBL Trophy on Wednesday 24 February. The match tips off at 7pm and will be streamed live and for free on Worcester Wolves YouTube channel.