Raiders take defeat out on Tigers
UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders bounced back from their Friday evening defeat to Durham Wildcats on as they maintained their grasp on fourth place in the BBL Championship table thanks to a convincing 103-70 victory over Mersey Tigers at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park yesterday.
After both sides traded baskets in the early going, five points from Matt Schneck helped the visitors move themselves into a 14-7 lead midway through the opening period. A pair of three-pointers from Joshua McGinn got the home side right back into the contest as an 8-0 response from the Tigers put them in front at 15-14. Both sides continued to trade baskets as they ended up locked at 21-21 after the opening stanza.
In the second quarter, a Ryan Gallagher basket gave the home side the lead at 23-21, but a Jamal Williams three-pointer sparked the Raiders into life as they rattled off a 20-0 to break the game open and take the score to 41-23.
A three-point-play from Michael Ojo inside the final minute of the half gave the Raiders a 57-34 lead.
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In the second half, the Tigers tried desperately to get themselves back into the game, and managed to trim the deficit back to 18 points thanks to a Martin Calvo basket to bring the score back to 68-50 midway through the third period.
That was as close as they would get in the quarter and a Schneck free-throw saw Plymouth leading by 25 points at 77-52 heading into the final stanza.
Raiders continued to extend their lead and enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 35 points with the score at 101-66.
Ojo led all scorers with 27 points for the Raiders.
Raiders were clawed 98-81 in a surprise defeat to 11th-placed Durham at the Pavilions on Friday. The Wildcats led for most of the game as Brad Guinane inspired them with eight three-pointers on his way to 32 points; Keith Page scored 21 and Andrew Keister scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The first quarter saw six lead changes and four ties as the teams battled it out, before Keith Page gave the Wildcats a 24-21 lead heading into the final minute with a three-pointer.
The Wildcats built on that momentum to open the second with eight unanswered points in the opening minute – all from Guinane and including two triples – for a 34-23 lead. Schneck looked to have settled the hosts, but Guinane hit another three and Page scored for 39-25. But from that point, the Raiders did hit back: a 10-1 burst was ignited by four Ojo points, matched by Schneck, and the Raiders were back to 40-35 with three minutes to half time. The Wildcats then scored nine of the last 13 points including a buzzer-beater from Baldarelli to give them their double-digit lead back at 49-39.
At 62-52, Plymouth scored six straight points with an Ojo "and-one" play and Colin O'Reilly's three-pointer. But, just as it seemed as though momentum was building, the resilient Wildcats hit back with consecutive "and-one" plays for Ralph Bucci and Page, helping them to a 60-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats set about putting the lead beyond their hosts early in the fourth as Guinane and Page notched early three-pointers and, from 81-70, they scored seven consecutive points with Baldarelli adding another triple. They pushed their lead to 20 at 94-74 on a Guinane basket, and that was its peak as an Ojo triple was the last score.