Stung Raiders maul Wildcats to rebound from Riders loss
Durham Wildcats...68 Plymouth Raiders...113
MARJON Plymouth Raiders bounced back in style at Durham Wildcats to go 5-2 in the BBL Championship last night.
Raiders hammered Wildcats by 45 points following Saturday's narrow 83-80 defeat at joint 8-1 leaders Leicester Riders.
Raiders led Wildcats by as many as 48, 110-62 with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter on a three from small-forward Colin O'Reilly.
Raiders' biggest winning margin since joining British basketball's top league, the BBL, in 2004 is 49 points, 121-72 at home against Worcester Wolves in January 2006.
Raiders were in total control yesterday from late in the first quarter and early in the second, with an emphatic 19-4 run building a 29-20 lead Gavin Love's team never looked like relinquishing.
Raiders only travelled with seven players and one, starting shooting-guard Michael Ojo served a one-game suspension at Riders on Saturday.
Raiders, with only a six-man rotation against 10-deep Riders, simply ran out of steam in Saturday's fourth quarter, said Love.
But Raiders did not feel sorry for themselves yesterday and destroyed Wildcats to remain in title contention.
Raiders coach Love said: "The guys were bitterly disappointed after Saturday – we were up by 10 points and had that game in the bag.
"You could tell the guys were ticked off. I think whoever we played today would've borne the brunt of that."
Love added: "We're definitely getting better and to rout Durham, who aren't a bad team, by 45 points at this level is pretty impressive.
"Our defence led to our offence. We forced 18 turnovers and ran. Everyone contributed. We did a good job. It was a great way to finish the weekend."
Wildcats went up by as many as six points, 16-10 early in the first quarter on a three from Keith Page before Raiders took control with a dominant 19-4 run, which grabbed the lead for good and built a 29-20 gap.
Guards Jeremy Bell, Ojo and Drew Lasker all contributed with three, five and four points respectively.
Big-men Javarris Barnett and Matt Schneck added five and two points respectively.
Bell triggered the tear with 1/2 free-throws.
Lasker and then Barnett concluded it converting 4/4 from the foul line.
Raiders revealed a killer instinct Love has called for in recent weeks, effectively putting the game to bed with a 16-2 run stretching the lead to 24 points, 52-28 late in the second. Ojo sparked it with a three and had seven of the points matched by seven points from Bell, who capped the run with a three.
Raiders ran riot in the third quarter and early in the fourth with a 30-6 streak ballooning the lead.
O'Reilly sparked it with 10 straight points, including two threes to make it 74-41 and put Raiders dominantly up by 34.
Bell added six points and Schneck added seven, including a rare three from the big-man, who I haven't seen even attempt one at the Pavilions this season.
Schneck and then O'Reilly scored early in the fourth to cap the clinic and make it 92-47 and extend Raiders' lead to 45 points.
STATS v DURHAM
Scorers: Raiders: Bell 27 points (11/15 field-goals), Ojo 22 (7/15), O'Reilly 22 (6/9), Schneck 20 (9/11), Barnett 12 (3/9), Lasker 8 (2/5), Potter 2 (1/3): Durham: Keister 16 (8/16), Page 14 (4/14), Baldarelli (5/13)
Leading rebounder: Raiders: Schneck 13: Durham: Bucci 8
Leader in assists: Raiders: Bell/O'Reilly/Lasker 3: Durham: Page/Bucci 5
Field-Goal Percentage: Raiders: 58 per cent (39/67 attempts); Durham: 38 per cent (29/76)
Three-Point Percentage: Raiders: 69 per cent (9/13 attempts); Durham: 19 per cent (4/21)
Free-Throw Percentage: Raiders: 79 per cent (26/33 attempts); Durham: 75 per cent (6/8)
Leicester Riders...83 Plymouth Raiders...80
GAVIN LOVE believes Marjon Plymouth Raiders would have beaten Leicester Riders on Saturday night – had they boasted an extra body to give them a seven-man rotation.
Raiders were without starting shooting-guard Michael Ojo, who was serving a one-game suspension and back-up big-man Anthony Rowe, who has an ankle sprain.
That reduced Raiders to a six-man rotation against 10-deep Riders.
"We made some mistakes which cost us, but if we had had another pair of legs, we would've won that game, no question," said Raiders boss Love.
"It was tough to swallow, but I was proud of how hard we played on Saturday.
"We played really well, but just had no legs in the last three/four minutes."
Raiders led by two, 15-13 after the first quarter at John Sandford Centre before building a 14-point, 40-26 lead late in the second with a 17-4 run.
Riders regrouped and trimmed the deficit to 10, 42-32 by half-time.
Raiders outscored the hosts 25-17 in the quarter and rebuilt the gap to 12 points, 59-47 late in the third.
Riders turned the contest around with a 13-0 streak, which grabbed a narrow 60-59 lead with the first score of the fourth.
Veteran Riders guard Yorick Williams, now 37, capped the third quarter drilling back-to-back threes to slash Raiders' lead to two, 59-57 heading into the fourth.
Williams capped the pivotal run with a three-point play the hard way after being fouled while scoring a two.
Riders were up by one, 79-78 inside the final minute before Williams hit a killer three with 48 seconds remaining to make it 82-78.
Raiders guard Drew Lasker scored a two to cut Riders' lead in half before guard Jorge Calvo hit 1/2 free-throws with 12 seconds left to extend the lead to three, 83-80.
Lasker and rookie forward Javarris Barnett both had chances to hit threes in the final moments, which would have forced overtime, but neither made them.
Raiders centre Liam Potter picked up a fourth and penultimate foul in the middle of Saturday's third quarter to almost completely limit Love's options.
Guard Jeremy Bell led Raiders with 22 points backed by 21 from big-man Matt Schneck and 18 from Lasker.
Riders were led by 21 points from Slovakian small-forward Pavol Losonsky and 20 points from Great Britain forward Drew Sullivan.
Veteran Williams added 12 points, all arriving crucially from late in the third.
BBL Championship: Worcester 97 Cheshire 84, Glasgow 87 London 73, Surrey 81 Leicester 74