It was Neon Night at the Morningside Arena on Friday as the Leicester Riders made it 3 wins on the bounce with a 75-71 victory over the Glasgow Rocks to keep pressure on the London Lions at the top of the BBL Championship.
Leicester Riders 75 v Glasgow Rocks 71
BBL Championship – Friday 12 April
Leicester Riders strengthened their hold on second place and kept up the outside pressure on leaders London with a hard-fought 75-71 victory over Glasgow Rocks.
It was Riders’ first win of the season over the Scots having lost twice at the Emirates Arena, but it was very much in the balance throughout.
Six points early on from Tim Williams saw Riders out to a 12-4 lead, but Greg Pryor netted five quick points to give the visitors the 15-12 advantage. Rocks closed out the first quarter with a four-point lead and the sides traded scores throughout the second period, with Glasgow’s excellent three-point shooting keeping them in front.
Riders regained the advantage early in the second half, but still the teams swapped baskets and unsurprisingly they entered the fourth quarter level at 51 apiece.
Leicester made the first significant move with Andy Thomson and Pierre Hampton combining for the first nine points of the final quarter to give Riders a 60-51 advantage.
Bo Zeigler, though, set about dragging his team back into it, scoring 14 points in five minutes to trim the Riders lead down to only a point. Hampton pushed the lead back to 71-68 with two minutes left and then both teams missed opportunities to trouble the scorers.
Kenny Carpenter made it 71-69 inside the final 40 seconds, but Rema Lascelles and Conner Washington were able to secure the victory for the Riders with some late free throws.
With Newcastle losing at home to Sheffield at the same time, Riders now have a two-point cushion and a game in hand in the race for second, although they still need some significant help from elsewhere if they are to get any closer to the Lions at the top.
Most of Williams’ 16 points came in the early stages as he set the platform, whilst Hampton finished things off with eight of his twelve coming in the final quarter.
Riders: Williams 16, Hampton 13, Holder 12, Thomson 9, Douse 7, Anderson 6, Washington 6, Ward-Hibbert 2, Lascelles 2, Clark 2, Gamble.
Rocks: Zeigler 22, Pryor 11, Rinkunas 9, Murray 8, Carpenter 6, Achara 6, Bunyan 5, Fraser 4, Ndiaye, Hendry, Geddes.