Raiders bounce back to maul Lions
UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders bounced back from Saturday's home defeat to Glasgow Rocks with a 108-98 win over London Lions at the Pavilions yesterday afternoon as they moved themselves into fourth position in the BBL Championship table.
In a high-scoring first quarter, both sides traded baskets with the lead changing hands on multiple occasions before Raiders took control as they enjoyed a small 6-0 burst to take the score out to 30-21.
The Lions finished the quarter strongly as they bagged eight of the final 12 points of the period to leave themselves trailing by just five points at 34-29.
In the second stanza, an 8-4 start from the Lions got to within one point at 38-37, but back-to-back three-pointers from Colin O'Reilly sparked the Raiders into life as they rattled off a 14-0 tear to take the score out to 52-37 with just over three minutes left in the half.
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The Lions tried to close the gap before the half-time break, but were unable to do so with any great conviction as Javarris Barnett hit a big three-pointer to send the home side into the locker rooms 60-44 up.
A Barnett basket midway through the third period handed the Raiders a 21-point advantage at 74-53. The Lions tried hard to get themselves back into the contest and an Orlan Jackman basket trimmed the deficit back to 15 points at 80-65, but another O'Reilly basket gave the home side an 82-65 lead heading into the final quarter.
A Jeremy Bell basket gave the Raiders their biggest lead of the game at 92-69 with seven minutes left but this seemed to spur the Lions into action as they fought back and began to eat into the Raiders lead.
With the score at 98-77 midway through the final quarter, a Mike Martin basket sparked a 15-1 burst from the Lions to trim the gap back to seven points at 99-92 with 1:55 left – but that was as close as they would get as the Raiders secured the all-important victory from the foul-line.
O'Reilly led the scoring for the Raiders with 29 points, assisted by Barnett (24) and Michael Ojo (21).
The Raiders lost 97-84 against Glasgow, the Rocks opening up a 27-23 first-quarter lead as Great Britain forward Kieron Achara wreaked havoc under the basket. Indeed, he scored the points which gave Rocks their first double-digit lead at 37-26.
It was to be one they would subsequently extend to as many as 14 with four minutes to go until the break, although Raiders did rally and cut the gap to just five after posting a run of nine consecutive points – although they could not prevent Rocks from taking a 49-40 lead into the locker rooms.
When the Scottish side's Mike Ringgold made it 64-49, the game looked to be slipping away from the home team but they found a higher gear and a stunning 15-2 run had the home fans revelling in a comeback which had suddenly made it a one-shot game.
EJ Harrison settled Rocks' nerves with a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter and the visitors then re-established a double figure lead with seven minutes left.
Raiders' launched another salvage bid but despite 22 points from Jeremy Bell and a double-double of 16 points and ten rebounds from Matt Schneck, Rocks kept their nerve to ease to an excellent road win.