|Riders - Bernardini||17|
|Phoenix - Williams||28|
|Riders - Sullivan||11|
|Phoenix - Dirkin||8|
|Riders - Sullivan||7|
|Phoenix - Ellis||5|
|Riders - Bernardini||3|
|Phoenix - Dirkin||1|
|Riders - Walker||3|
Riders were victorious, 86 79 this evening when they faced the Cheshire Phoenix.
Both sides started aggressively, creating a fast pace game, with both teams shooting the ball well. Conner Washington gave the Riders a spark off the bench with back to back threes, but the visitors responded with a three from Jordan Williams preventing the Riders from stretching their lead any further then 23 21 at the end of the first.
Riders came out firing with Neil Watson hitting from long range, then followed by Drew Sullivan being rewarded with free throws for his aggressive drive, pushing the lead to seven early in the second.
The Riders continued to play efficiently, moving the ball well and converting the opportunities that their offence created. The home team put on an impressive display on the defensive end also, with Jamell Anderson’s steal and break away dunk stretching the lead to 18. TrayVonn Wright came alive in the second, finishing the half with 10 points and leading the Riders in scoring as the Riders went into half time up 49 35.
Cheshire came out of half time confident, with Williams converting on back to back possessions cutting the lead to 8. Riders responded by stepping up on the defensive end, and continuing to move the ball, creating beautiful team basketball on the offensive end. Williams continued his hot streak for Cheshire taking his total to 22 points, but the Riders remained in front, helped by two threes from Tyler Bernardini, to end the quarter 68 61.
The pace picked up once more in the fourth. Cheshire were able to cut the Riders lead to 1 with 6 minutes remaining, before a Hanson Young jumper took the visitors ahead for the first time since the first quarter. The Riders struggled to convert on the offensive end despite the good looks created. The Riders did not regain the lead until Watson’s layup in transition, followed up by Wright who finished at the basket the following possession.
The visitors were able to cut the lead back to 1, before Anderson was able to convert a free throw to take the lead to 2 in favour of the Riders. With the shot clock running down, Watson was able to hit a long jumper to increase the lead to 4 with 1 minute 17 seconds to go.
A solid defensive effort from Anderson resulting in him drawing the offensive foul allowed the Riders to regain possession with a minute remaining. Another crucial stop by veteran Drew Sullivan, followed by free throws, allowed the Riders to secure the victory 86 79.
The Riders continue this seasons campaign at home on the 5th of December for the second leg of the trophy semi-final against London Lions. The Riders will take a 12 point advantage into the game so be sure to buy your ticket and come support the team.
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