top of page

RECAP: Nuggets take opening win in OT

The first Southern Stoush of the 2024 Sal’s NBL season saw the Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets protect home court advantage with a thrilling 86-79 overtime victory over the Southland Sharks at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin on Saturday.

After Nuggets forward Matt Bardsley (17 points) had tied proceedings at 76 points apiece with just five seconds remaining to force overtime the Sharks were outscored 10-3 in the additional five minutes to lose a contest they looked destined to win in regulation.

Callum McRae (12 points and 13 rebounds) put the Southlanders five points ahead with 90 seconds to play only for Jack Andrew and Bardsley to pull the hosts level, Andrew nailing a corner three as the shot clock expired and sixty seconds later Bardsley’s driving layup locking proceedings up.

Andrew and import Kimani Lawrence scored 18 points apiece but it was their crucial four points each in overtime that sealed the win for the 2022 champions.

The Nuggets scored the first seven points of the game before Alonzo Burton (12 points) got the Sharks on the board. However with Lawrence and Ben Henshall (21 points) prominent the home team were quickly out to a double figure lead.

Marcale Lotts (14 points and 13 rebounds) and Callum McRae responded for the Sharks before Matt Bardsley brought the curtain down on the first quarter scoring with a neat baseline move – Nuggets ahead 26-18.

Bardsley was again to the fore in the second with a pair of steals leading to breakaway layups although a couple of triples from Ben Hall ensured the Sharks remained in touching distance at the interval, trailing 46-38.

To the delight of the sizeable group of travelling Sharks fans the eight-point advantage favouring the Nuggets was whittled down to one following a Lotts dunk – McRae then tying proceedings forcing Nuggets coach Brent Matehaere to call a timeout.

Henshall responded from the team chat with five points but the battalion of the Orange Army were smiling at the last break with the Sharks 63-58 ahead.

Those smiles were broad when McRae put them 76-71 ahead with 98 seconds to play but turned to frowns as Bardsley, Andrew and Lawrence thrilled the Edgar Centre faithful over the closing minutes.

The Nuggets will welcome back the exciting guard duo of Tai Webster and Dante Russo-Nance in the near future but in the meantime will reflect on a hard fought victory achieved despite committing 23 turnovers.

Result: Otago Nuggets 86 defeated Southland Sharks 79

Leading Players; 

Nuggets: Ben Henshall (21pts), Jack Andrew (18 pts, 16 rebs, 3 blocks), Kimani Lawrence (18pts, 14 rebs), Matt Bardsley (17 pts)

Sharks: Josh Turner (16 pts), LaGerald Vick (14 pts), Marcale Lotts (14 pts, 13 rebs, 5 blocks), Callum McRae (12 pts, 13 rebs,), Alonzo Burton 12 pts, 5 steals)

MVP Votes: Kimani Lawrence (Nuggets) - 8 votes, Ben Henshall (Nuggets) - 8 votes, Robbie Coman (Nuggets) - 4 votes, Lotts (Sharks) - 4 votes, LaGerald Vick (Sharks) - 4 votes, Callum McRae (Sharks) - 2 votes

In the earlier Sky Broadband Rapid League game:

The Southland Sharks made the early running before going on to defeat the Night ‘n Day Otago Nuggets 37-26.

Ben Hall led all scorers with 16 points, on 6 from 9 shooting, and it was the Sharks guard that scored the opening two baskets of the contest. With veteran Andrew Wheeler adding a couple of points the visitors carried a 6-4 lead into the quarter time break.

The scoring tempo increased in the second period and with Matariki Kapea’s and-1 play cancelling out a three-point play from the effort of Michael Ruske, making the score tied at 15 points apiece at half-time.

Six points from Hall in the third gave the Sharks a seven-point cushion (24-17) heading into the final frame.

Matt Pyper and Joseph Ahie trimmed the margin for the hosts but a brace of triples from Hall sealed a convincing win for the Sharks.

Rapid League Result: Otago Nuggets 26 Southland Sharks 37

Leading Players

Sharks: Ben Hall (16 pts), Scott Telfer (8 pts), Matariki Kapea (8 pts)

Nuggets: Matthew Pyper (9pts), Matt Bardsley (5pts), Michael Ruske (5pts)

MVP Votes: Ben Hall (Sharks) - 10 votes, Scott Telfer (Sharks) - 8 votes, Matt Pyper (Nuggets) - 4 votes, Matt Bardsley (Nuggets) - 3 votes, Robbie Coman (Nuggets) - 2 votes, Caleb Smiler (Nuggets) - 2 votes, Matariki Kapea (Sharks) - 1 vote

Related Posts

See All


bottom of page