Leicester Riders welcomed Cardiff Met Archers at home and took an important win after a nail biting spectacle.
Great distribution of the ball in offence by Riders and 5 points by Robyn Lewis led to 12-9 lead for the home team in the first five minutes of the game. In the second period, the duo Dee Hayward and Alex Smith were unstoppable in offence and helped the team to remain their lead.
However, in the last five minutes of the second period the guests forced Riders to turnover the ball in offence which gave Archers the opportunity to score 10 points and take the lead at the halftime (32-34).
In the third period Riders re-grouped and stepped on the court motivated. Although the hosts were still struggling in defence, everyone contributed in offence. It was very intense twenty minutes with great basketball on the both ends of the court. With Archers leading 68-66 and only 15 second left on the clock, Leicester Riders had to organise themselves and show their best.
The American student Alex Smith took an unsuccessful three-point shot but was rewarded with a foul. Smith made the three free throws for 69-68 after which Charnwood student Eleanor Jones blocked S. Wagstaff’s attempt and did not let the guests to take another shot.
Alex Smith had another great game finishing with 22 points and 5 rebounds, whilst Robyn Lewis scored 14, and Dee Hayward added another 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Head coach Matthew Harber was pleased with the win:
“Today was a great moment for our team. We haven’t been in a game like that yet this season, so it’s really good for us to gain these experiences.
“We closed the game out down the stretch and we made some timely stops which allowed us to build confidence. The next step for us is to find offensive rhythm. We have struggled to find that as of yet, but we are getting closer and closer each day.”
Next week Leicester Riders will travel to Sheffield on Saturday and play against Northumbria on Sunday.