|Riders - Watson||19|
|Lions - Watt||23|
|Riders - Wright||7|
|Lions - Watt||18|
|Riders - Anderson||3|
|Lions - Lewis||4|
|Riders - Watson||3|
|Lions - Lewis||2|
|Riders - Williams||1|
|Lions - Sullivan||1|
Leicester Riders took the thrilling 77-76 victory over the London Lions tonight in the BBL Championship.
The visiting Lions started the game well taking an early 2-5 lead, but Riders did not take long to respond on the offensive end. Trevor Gruis got going for the home side making it 11-11 after the opening four minutes of the game. Both teams continued to produce offensively with Lions taking the one point lead, 23-24
at the end of the first quarter.
The Riders stepped up in the second, with Gruis finishing and consecutive scores from TrayVonn Wright putting the home team ahead by three. Neil Watson’s jump shot and free throws from Conner Washington and Drew Sullivan extended the Riders lead to 10 going into the last few seconds of the half. Lions point guard, Nick Lewis was able to finish inside just before the buzzer, reducing the gap but only narrowly and the Riders went into half time up 45-37.
Riders began the third where they left off on the offensive end but failed to stretch their lead further than 10 points half way through the quarter. The guests were able to fight back after a three from guard Alex Owumi and two free throws Demond Watt. Riders were unable to convert on the offensive end and strong finishes from the Lions took the score to 55-54 with just under two minutes remaining in the third. Lions were able to convert one from two free throws to tie with seconds remaining but the Riders were able to break the Lions press defence, resulting in Watson finishing and taking the 57-55 lead going into the final quarter.
Watson started the fourth with a fancy finish before Drew Sullivan took control converting two free throws and finishing the short jumper on back to back possessions. With the Lions in a zone, Riders were able to move the ball and get good looks on offence. However, the visitors also continued to be aggressive and with scoring going back and fourth, the Riders were up 68-67 with 3 minutes remaining.
An and-one layup from Lions’ Watt tied the game but Drew Sullivan powered his way to the basket to put the Riders up 74-72 with just over a minute remaining. Two free throws and yet another finish from Nick Lewis put the visitors up 76-74 with 26.1 seconds to go.
With 6.0 seconds remaining, it was Neil Watson who hit the crucial three pointer to put Riders up 77-76 and ultimately take the victory.
Riders return home next Saturday the 26th of March against Bristol Flyers. Click here to purchase your tickets now!