Plymouth Raiders secure thrilling overtime win
UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders earned a hard-fought double-overtime 119-115 victory over Manchester Giants on Saturday evening at the Pavilions, after Giants twice forced extra periods in the closing seconds.
The game featured a tight opening with neither side was able to build a lead of more than two points as Raiders' Javarris Barnett and Giants' Nick George both scored nine points in a spell that left Giants up 16-15 midway through the quarter. Matt Schneck's dunk then started the Raiders rolling on an 8-0 run, with new signing Rod Brown assisting on two of their field goals and scoring the other two to put them up 23-16.
The Giants hit back, scoring the final six points of the quarter to spark a 28-12 run, with Stefan Gill scoring 12 points, to put Giants ahead 44-35 with about four minutes to go in the quarter.
Raiders fought back however, going on a 14-4 run that featured three-points from Brown and Colin O'Reilly and six points scored by Schneck before Drew Lasker put them ahead 51-50 early in the third.
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Giants prevented them from pulling out any further ahead, keeping the game close until they went on a 7-0 mini-run near the end of the quarter, putting them up 74-67.
Raiders hit back, Lasker scoring the final three points of the quarter as they started putting together a 22-7 run of their own to take an 89-81 lead after Barnett assisted on a basket scored by Jamal Williams with 4:15 left.
That assist was Barnett's fourth in the run, while Williams had nine points and a block in the run and Brown had three assists.
A pair of free-throws and a three-pointer from George along with two field goals scored by Ben Eaves saw the Giants fight their way back into the contest, taking the Raiders lead down to just 92-90 with 93 seconds to play.
Barnett scored a three-pointer to make the Raiders lead 95-90 but George hit right back with a three of his own before Barnett missed a three-pointer with 20 seconds left.
Gill claimed the rebound for the Giants and on the resulting possession, Schneck fouled Eaves, sending him to the line. He sank both free-throws, tying the game at 95-95.
Overtime started with Brown assisting on a Schneck free-throw before Lasker assisted on a three scored by Barnett and a basket scored by O'Reilly, while tough Raiders defence stopped Giants making their first four shots. That put Raiders up 101-95. Giants then hit back, Eaves and Gill both sinking a pair of free-throws before George made an "and-one" play, putting the Giants 102-101 ahead.
Lasker assisted on a basket scored by Williams that put Raiders back in front 103-102. The Giants forced a Raiders shot-clock violation to get the ball back with 25 seconds left. Schneck intercepted a pass by George and forced Eaves to use up his final foul sending Scheck to the line.
He made 1/2 attempts, putting Raiders up 104-102 and leaving Giants with 15 seconds to keep their chances alive. George missed his attempt to tie the game up, but Devan Bailey grabbed the rebound and made the put-back, tying the game up at 104-104.
Raiders started the sixth stanza well, Schneck scoring six points as they went on an 11-4 mini-run and took a 115-108 lead with 1:41 to play. Bailey reduced that lead back down to five points but Schneck sank his fifth and sixth free-throws of the period to make it 117-110 with 1:07 left.
David Watts made a put-back off James Jones' missed three for the Giants and after Schneck missed a shot, he fouled Gill, who sank both free-throws, cutting Raiders' lead to 117-114 with 31 seconds left.
Lasker grabbed the rebound and made a put-back after Williams missed to put Raiders ahead 119-114 with just eight seconds to play.
Lasker then fouled Bailey, who sank his first free-throw but missed his second. James Jones grabbed the rebound but missed a three-pointer.
BBL Championship: UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders 119 (25, 45, 70, 95, 104) (Barnett 30, Schneck 27, Lasker 21) Manchester Giants 115 (24, 50, 74, 95, 104) (Gill 28, George 27, Eaves 18).