Leicester Riders lost a topsy-turvy game at Cheshire Phoenix in the BBL Championship on Sunday night, after overtime, 95-91.
Riders looked out of it late in the fourth quarter, but managed to force overtime with a turnover, and a Kyron Cartwright breakaway.
But then in overtime they looked to have the result in their own hands, leading 87-84, before two steals by Cheshire guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright turned the tide, and Phoenix were able to see out the game from the free throw line.
The game started nip and tuck, although some of the sloppiness from the Worcester match carried over, with Darien Nelson-Henry turning the ball over three times early on. But a Namon Wright three gave Riders an early 7-5 lead, before the Phoenix came back, courtesy of good shooting by GB International Ben Mockford. The Riders needed three pointers from Joe Scott, and then Andy Thomson on the buzzer, to close the gap to 21-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Kyron Cartwright racked up 7 assists in the first quarter and then pulled off an ‘and-one’ to start the second quarter and, with a three from Jamell Anderson, Riders were back in front 27-26.
But Mockford was on fire and another three and a driving lay-up from him, tied the game on 33, with three and a half minutes left in the first half. Anderson hit another three and Jesse Chuku nailed another from beyond the arc, just as the first half finished, giving Riders a 43-39 lead.
After Phoenix tied things up early in the second half, Riders went on a nine to nil run to push the lead out to 52-43, with Chuku hitting another three. But the Phoenix came back with a 7 to nil run of their own, to close the gap to three. At the end of the third quarter Riders just edged it 64-63.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright started the fourth quarter on fire hitting 7 points in quick order to push the Phoenix lead out to 72-67 with 8 minutes left. Riders battled back again, but another Mockford three with a minute left gave Cheshire the lead 79-77. But Riders forced a turnover and Cartwright broke away to level the scores and take it to overtime.
In overtime once again Riders got on top before Jackson-Cartwright turned the tide.
Jesse Chuku was on the top of his game leading the way for Riders with 22 points, including 2 three pointers, and Cartwright notched up another extraordinary 17 assists, but Mockford’s 31 points and Jackson-Cartwrights 26 points proved decisive for the home team.