9 February 2015 – 11:51

BBL Trophy Draw

Newcastle Eagles v Plymouth Raiders

London Lions v Leicester Riders

To be played over two legs

Playing on the road, Cheshire Phoenix came out away with a 116-107 victory against Plymouth University Raiders in a high-scoring shootout.

Elsewhere, the luck was also with the road teams, as Leicester Riders, Worcester Wolves and Glasgow Rocks all celebrated wins away from home.

Riders overcame a slow start to top last-placed Surrey United 102-91 on the second night of a back-to-back, bouncing back from Saturday’s loss to Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.

Wolves put together an exceptional defensive display in the second half, defeating Durham Wildcats 66-58 after allowing opponents to score only 20 points in the second half.

Meanwhile, Rocks held off playoff race rivals Manchester Giants 77-70, climbing all the way to sixth in the championship table following the game.

Friday 13 February 2015
BBL Championship – Fixture
Bristol Flyers 70 – 62 Surrey United 19:30
Newcastle Eagles 98 – 71 Durham Wildcats 19:30
Glasgow Rocks 99 – 104 Plymouth Raiders 19:30
BBL Trophy QF – Fixture
London Lions 86 – 80 Sheffield Sharks 19:30
Saturday 14 February 2015
BBL Championship – Fixture
Leicester Riders 89 – 95 Newcastle Eagles 19:30
Sunday 15 February 2015
BBL Championship – Fixtures
Durham Wildcats 58 – 66 Worcester Wolves 16:00
Manchester Giants 70 – 77 Glasgow Rocks 18:00
Plymouth Raiders 107 – 116 Cheshire Phoenix 16:00
Surrey United 91 – 102 Leicester Riders 15:00

P Team PL W L Pts
1 Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 24 22 2 44
2 Worcester Wolves 25 20 5 40
3 Leicester Riders 23 18 5 36
4 Cheshire Phoenix 23 17 6 34
5 London Lions 21 12 9 24
6 Glasgow Rocks 21 10 11 20
7 Sheffield Sharks 23 10 13 20
8 Manchester Giants 25 10 15 20
9 Bristol Flyers 26 9 17 18
10 Durham Wildcats 24 8 16 16
11 Plymouth University Raiders 22 7 15 14
12 Leeds Force 25 6 19 12
13 Surrey United 24 4 20 8
2014/15 League Table

Quote of the WeekVince - 2

Sheffield are evenly balanced and come at you in a number of different ways, but from our perspective we have to just maintain and trust in our defence as we have done all season.

“We can beat anyone and we can lose to anyone and it all comes down to that little bit above our shoulders. If we come with the right mind set I am very comfortable with what we can achieve.Lion’s Coach Vince Macaulay

Raiders & Phoenix serve up a feast of scoring

BBL Championship
Plymouth University Raiders 107 (29,59,82) (Mockford 29, Murray 24, Sayers 18)
Cheshire Phoenix 116 (27,58,90) (Watt 33, DiNunno 27, Aliu 21, King 21)
Demond Watt of the Cheshire Phoenix

Demond Watt of the Cheshire Phoenix

Demond Watt and Mike DiNunno combined for 60 points, as Cheshire Phoenix came back from behind to defeat Plymouth University Raiders 116-107 in a true high-scoring basketball spectacle at Plymouth Pavilions on Sunday.

Although coaches of both teams stressed the importance of defence before the game, there was little to be found, as the sides got sucked into a fast-paced scoring duel, with Raiders taking a 29-27 edge after the first quarter.

The hosts did not cool off in the second period and led by as many as 16 points at 55-39, but Phoenix finished the half with a 19-4 run to cut the double-digit deficit to a single point heading into the interval.

The red-hot Cheshire side took over the control of the game after the break with an impressive 32-point outburst in the third quarter to build a 90-82 advantage before the final period.

Phoenix had a slight edge throughout the fourth quarter, but Raiders stayed within striking distance for most of the time. Gareth Murray’s basket with 54 seconds remaining had cut the gap to 109-105, but John Coffino’s side sealed the win from the free-throw line.

Demond Watt had a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, Mike DiNunno scored 27 points off the bench, while David Aliu and Taylor King chipped in with 21 points apiece.

Ben Mockford had 29 points on 7-of-14 shooting from three-point range for Raiders. Gareth Murray added 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Joshua Wilcher added a big double-double of 11 points and 17 assists.

Leicester Riders get the W to split the weekend

BBL Championship
Surrey United 91 (29,46,67) (Downing 31, Coleman 21, Knutson 16)
Leicester Riders 102 (24,52,75) (Hassan 28, Bernardini 17, Wright 14)
Riders' Head Coach Rob Paternostro. Library photo.

Riders’ Head Coach Rob Paternostro. Library photo.

Leicester Riders bounced back after Saturday’s loss to BBL Championship leaders Esh Group Eagles Newcastle with a 102-91 victory against last-placed Surrey United on the second night of a back-to-back.

With little time between the two games, Riders came out of the gates flat and saw United jump ahead to a 29-24 lead after an offensive minded opening quarter. However, it did not take long for the Leicester side to turn things around.

It was Rashad Hassan who stepped up for Riders and was the main man behind a 20-5 stretch for the visitors, which put Leicester up 48-40 with a couple of minutes remaining in the second period.

Riders carried over the momentum into the second half as well, starting the third quarter with a 16-2 run to increase the gap to 20 points at 68-48 after yet another basket by Hassan.

Paced by Anthony Downing, Surrey did responded by cutting the deficit to single digits and a three-pointer by Dominique Coleman to start the final quarter had sliced the gap to 75-70, but it was as close as United got, as Riders stopped the home side’s comeback short.

Hassan had a team-high 28 points for Leicester, while Tyler Bernardini scored 17. Meanwhile, Downing led all scorers with 31 points and dished out six assists for United, but it wasn’t enough to save the hosts.

Wolves still hanging in second place

BBL Championship
Durham Wildcats 58 (20,38,45) (Puk 15, Urli 14, Jones 10)
Worcester Wolves 66 (19,39,53) (Thurman 18, Owumi 15, Guede 11)

It did not take long for Worcester Wolves to return to winning ways in the BBL Championship after dropping a game last weekend, as the Worcester side took care of business in the second half against Durham Wildcats to register a 66-58 victory on the road at the Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre.

Although the visitors did start the game relatively well and led by seven points in the early going, Wildcats did not let the game get out of hand already in the opening quarter, quickly closing the gap. The lead changed hands multiple times in the first half, but it was Wolves who carried a 39-38 edge into the halftime break.

Excellent defence by Worcester kept Wildcats scoreless for more than half of the third quarter, as Wolves jumped out to the biggest lead of the game at 51-38 after Paulin Guede hit a three-pointer to complete a 12-0 run for the guests.

Although Wolves scored only 14 and 13 points in the third and fourth quarters respectively, Wildcats’ scoring woes were much more severe, as the Durham side put up only 20 points in the second half.

Robert Thurman had a game-high 18 points and 15 rebounds for Wolves, with Alex Owumi adding 15 points. John Puk led Wildcats in scoring with 15 points, while Fran Urli chipped in with 14 off the bench.

Rocks secure big road win at Giants

BBL Championship
Manchester Giants 70 (17,30,55) (Jones 15, Watts 12, Gill 12)
Glasgow Rocks 77 (25,41,58) (Ogedengbe 31, Achara 16, Huffor 12)
Sterling Davis Photo - MPhotography

Tayo Ogedengbe scored 31 points, as Glasgow Rocks held on to take a 77-70 victory over playoff race rivals Manchester Giants at the Lucozade Soccerdome on Sunday evening.

The visitors enjoyed a better start of the two teams, taking a 25-17 lead after the first quarter. Although Giants had cut the deficit to two points at 31-29, Rocks finished the half on a strong note and regained a double-digit advantage heading into the halftime interval, with the scoreboard showing 41-30 in favour of the guests.

After another pair of baskets by the Glasgow side, Rocks lead reached 15 points, but a 12-2 run by Giants sliced the gap to 47-42 halfway through the third period. David Watts completed the comeback for Manchester, tying it at 52-all after going one-of-two from the charity stripe.

Jonny Bunyan put Rocks back in front right before the end of the quarter with a long-range triple, but only three points separated the sides at 58-55. Having started the last period well, the visitors from Glasgow regained a double-digit edge at 72-61 and held on to the lead, despite a late scare by Giants.

In addition to 31 points by Ogedengbe, Keiron Achara and Danny Huffor chipped in with 16 and 12 points respectively, while Callum Jones collected a team-high 15 points for Manchester.

Was this a Championship decider?

BBL Championship
Leicester Riders 89 (25,45,66) (Bernardini 22, Anderson 14, Hassan 14)
Esh Group Newcastle Eagles 95 (34,63,77) (Thomson 16, Jones 15, Fletcher 14)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle have strengthened their position atop the BBL Championship table after a dominant first half performance saw them to an 89-95 defeat of Leicester Riders, the second time they have beaten their third-placed rivals this month.

Eagles recorded their sixth straight win, and secured the head-to-head against Riders, as five of their players hit double-figures, led by Andy Thomson’s 16 points, with Rahmon Fletcher adding 14 and eight assists.

The early exchanges saw the BBL’s two highest-scoring teams going toe-to-toe, sharing 59 points in ten minutes. And it was the Eagles that had the better of it, as an early 12-2 burst that was started and finished by ‘and-one’ plays from Thomson and Scott Martin, made the score 7-12. The Eagles led 25-34 after the first quarter, with Martin on 10 points.

And that continued into the second stanza, as a 10-1 run, capped by Stuart Thomson’s three-pointer, made the score 33-50. And soon after it reached its peak at 35-53 on another Andy Thomson old-fashioned three-point play, Leicester finding themselves in first half foul trouble, and trailing 45-63 at the half time break.

But Coach Paternostro got his defence going in the third period, and the Eagles had to withstand a second half fight back. Leicester held the Eagles to just 14 third quarter points, and scored eight points in a row, including four for Conner Washington, to get back to 64-73 and give themselves a fighting chance heading into the decisive fourth quarter.

And Leicester came close to avoiding only a second home defeat late in the game. A 9-3 opening saw Tyler Bernardini hit a triple – he led all scorers on the night with 22 – and Darius Defoe fouled out for the Eagles on a technical foul with more than seven minutes to play. Riders got back to within one point with a 12-4 spell soon after, Bernardini hitting another two treys, for a score of 87-88 heading into the final two minutes.

But Eagles composed themselves, with Fab Flournoy and then Andre Jones scoring, before they forced the Riders into a series of misses down the stretch, prevailing to go six points clear of Worcester Wolves in the BBL Championship.

Lions snare last Semi-Final place

BBL Trophy (Quarter-Final)
London Lions 86 (24,44,65) (Cook 22, Stibbins 19, Taylor 14)
Sheffield Sharks 80 (20,39,51) (Tuck 22, Holmes 18, Lewis 12)

Led by the duo of Lovell Cook and Makal Stibbins, who combined for 41 points, London Lions roared past Sheffield Sharks 86-80 on Friday at the Copper Box Arena to book a spot in the BBL Trophy Semi-Final.

A strong start by the hosts set the tone for the game, with Lions dictating the terms. A 9-0 run in the second period saw the London side break away to a 40-29 lead, but Sharks brought it back to 44-39 before the halftime break.

Although Sheffield got as close as 51-48 in the third quarter, Lions did not let the lead slip away and answered with a 12-2 stretch to increase the gap to 63-49.

Lions looked to have the BBL Trophy semifinal ticket in their back pocket, as they held a 78-59 lead with four minutes remaining on the clock. However, Sharks went on an emphatic 21-6 run to make it a four-point game with 10 seconds remaining.

A pair of free-throw’s by Lovell Cook helped the hosts ice the game and Cook finished the game with a game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Makal Stibbins added a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Mike Tuck was the leading scorer for Sharks with 22 points, while Bryan Holmes chipped in with 18 in a losing effort.

Free scoring Plymouth secure a big road win

BBL Championship
Glasgow Rocks 99 (26,52,71) (Huffor 22, Middleton 20, Achara 13)
Plymouth University Raiders 104 (32,51,76) (Mockford 31, Benson 22, Murray 18)

Plymouth University Raiders scored a much-need road victory against Glasgow Rocks, defeating the Scottish side 104-99 on the road at the Emirates Arena on Friday evening in the BBL Championship.

Having improved to a 7-14 record following the win, Raiders gave themselves a big boost in the race for a playoff spot, but are still two wins behind the eighth-placed Rocks.

Both sides held nothing back trading baskets right from the get-go, with Raiders grabbing a 32-26 lead after a high-scoring first quarter, as Ben Mockford and Brent Benson climbed into double-figure territory already in the first half.

However, the visitors could not build off a positive start, as Rocks erased what was a nine-point deficit at 37-28 early in the second quarter and jumped in front 52-51 heading into the halftime break.

Teams exchanged leads in the third quarter several times, but it was Raiders who made the decisive move, breaking away to a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and sealing the deal with a convincing finish, as Ben Mockford wreaked havoc on Rocks defenders.

Mockford finished the night with a game-high 31 points, while Brent Benson chipped in with 22. Meanwhile, Danny Huffor and Reggie Middleton collected 22 and 20 points for Rocks respectively.

Flyers get the better of Surrey

BBL Championship
Bristol Flyers 70 (13,28,42) (Perine 22, Streete 22, Bland 12)
Surrey United 62 (21,34,50) (Knutson 14, Downing 13, Dusha 11)

Bristol Flyers managed to put a rough stretch of four consecutive losses behind them with a 70-62 victory against Surrey United after a huge fourth-quarter turnaround at the WISE Basketball Arena in Bristol in the BBL Championship on Friday evening.

Bree Perine and Greg Streete carried Flyers with 22 points apiece, as the Bristol side came away with the victory after trailing for the most of the game.

The hosts found it difficult to put points on the board at the start of the game, with United breaking away to a 21-13 edge after the first quarter. The gap had grown to double digits in the second period, but Flyers managed to cut the deficit to 34-28 by the time for the halftime interval.

United stayed in front heading into the last period as well, leading 50-42, but Flyers fought back to take a 58-57 edge halfway with five minutes remaining before adding five more solid minutes of basketball to complete a 16-point fourth-quarter swing.

Alif Bland was the only other player in double figures for Flyers with 12 points. He also added 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Kramer Knutson had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for United, while Anthony Downing collected 13 points and six assists.

Newcastle Eagles just keep on keeping on!

BBL Championship
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 98 (26,47,68) (Thomson 21, Defoe 16, Jones 15)
Durham Wildcats 71 (22,37,54) (Buchberger 15, Urli 14, Jones 13)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle continued their merciless roll in the BBL Championship, as the Newcastle side improved their league-best record to 21-2 with a 98-71 home victory against Durham Wildcats at the Sport Central on Friday.

Having started the game well, Wildcats had a 22-16 edge after a basket by Christopher Jones with a couple of minutes remaining in the opening frame, but Eagles bridged the first two quarters with a 16-0 run to take over the control of the game at 32-22.

Eagles built on a decent first half in the third quarter, increasing the gap to 68-54 heading into the final period of action. The fourth quarter was no more than a formality for Newcastle, who closed the game by winning the last period 30-17, as their lead skyrocketed.

Stuart Thomson had 21 points off the bench for Eagles, Darius Defoe collected 16 points, while Andre Jones scored 15. For Wildcats, David Buchberger had a team-high 15 points, as Fran Urli chipped in with 14 points with the second unit.

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