Leicester Riders maintained their 100-per-cent record on their home court with a hard-fought 82-71 victory in the BBL Championship over an impressive Cheshire Phoenix team on Saturday night at the John Sandford Sports Centre.
Rashad Hassan led the way for the Riders, sinking 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to seal a double-double, whilst Anthony Downing had another high-scoring night with 19 points. Jay Couisnard weighed in with 8 of Riders’ 24 assists, whilst Drew Sullivan hit 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Cheshire’s resilience in the third quarter brought the visitors to within 3 points of tying the game; Dominque Coleman draining 20 points in the contest, whilst new signing Victor Moses sank 18 points and pulled down 7 rebounds. Point guard Reggie Middleton was responsible for 9 of Phoenix’s assists.
“I thought that the team we played tonight was the toughest team to guard so far,” said Riders head coach, Rob Paternostro.
“They made a lot of long-range shots, but I don’t think we gave them a lot of easy stuff. We knew that they would be a difficult team to play, so I am happy to come out with an 11 point victory.
“We had a couple of chances to put them away and we didn’t, I think that’s when you look back and see it as a little disappointing,” added Paternostro.
“When you have players like that, who can make shots; you know you’re in a dogfight all the way. The positive for me was the late-game execution, which was excellent for the second week in a row.”