GAME REPORT: Rocks struggle at Surrey

Match report by Alan Caldwell

The Rocks returned to BBL action tonight to take on the Surrey Scorchers, who are currently struggling themselves this season, sitting in the 10th in the league, however they have picked up a bit of form recently going 4-6 in their past 10 games.

Coming off tough back to back loses from Plymouth, The Rocks were seeing this as a perfect opportunity to bounce back and get a much needed win on the board.

However, it wasn’t meant to be tonight as the Rocks struggled to find their shot throughout the game, only outscoring Surrey in the fourth quarter by one point, the Scorchers dominated the other three.

Rocks guard, Christian Keeling got the first two points of the night from a pull up jumper to continue his recent scoring form, after getting a tied game high 16 points last time out against the Raiders.

The first quarter was a close encounter with Surrey taking an early lead on two made threes by Walshe and Hicks, however, the lead didn’t last long as a layup and a three by Delph gave him a quick 5 points early on in the contest.

Both teams struggled to put up points in the first quarter and assert their dominance on this game early doors, as the teams were just feeling each other out in the early stages of this one.

The quarter ended with a one point lead to the Scorchers up 16-15, a tight, low scoring contest so far but 6 points from Keeling and 5 from Delph where promising signs for the Rocks.

The second quarter started with a lovely contested layup by Isa Brandon coming off the bench, as the Rocks looked to keep this contest close, however an 8-0 run to start the second quarter by the Scorchers saw them hit back to back threes and go up 7 points on the night, which was the biggest lead of the night at this point.

The quick start to the second quarter, seemed to give Surrey a lot of confidence as they went on another 9-0 run and extended their lead to 14 points on the night.

It was the worst possible second quarter that the Rocks could’ve had hoped for, getting outscored 23-10, it was noticeable Gareth Murray and the rest of the team where frustrated with their second quarter woes.

Going into the interval, Surrey lead the ball game up 39-25 courtesy of a game high 9 points from Martelle McLemore in just 10 minutes of play.

Leading the scoring at the break for Glasgow was Keeling with 8 points, however, Glasgow just couldn’t get the baskets to drop in the second quarter and part of this issue was down to the teams three point shooting, going just 2/11 (18%) from three in the first two quarters.

Still plenty of fight and pride left in the Rocks they started the third quarter off looking to eat into Surrey’s 14 point lead with some tight defence at the start of the quarter the Rocks looked to have up their tempo, but Surrey big man Richards had other ideas getting a quick two points then going to the line where he made one of two free throws.

A 15 point difference mid way through the third quarter it was starting to look unlikely that a comeback would happen, however positives could be taken by the Rocks in this quarter as they shot the ball much better than the previous two and Christian Keeling continued to have a good scoring night putting up a team high 14 points.

The gap unfortunately for the Rocks continued to grow as the Scorchers in the second half of the third quarter went on a 16-7 run and opened up the lead to a game high 22 points on the night and lead the game 63-41 overall after the third quarter.

With Surrey up 22 points going into the 4th quarter, it was looking like it was time for the Rocks to turn their attention to tomorrow’s game as they take on the London Lions in the semi-finals of the BBL Trophy at lunchtime tomorrow, so there is no time for the Rocks to feel sorry for themselves.

With tomorrow’s game in mind and this contest out of sight, Gareth takes out the starters at the start of the 4th quarter to rest them and give the bench more minutes with Harte, Brandon and Jacdonmi getting on the board with some points.

Another key issue tonight for the Rocks was bench scoring, as the Surrey bench where on fire tonight, they outscored the Surrey starters 41-40 on the night and outscored the Rocks bench 41-31.

Four Surrey players in double digit scoring tonight gave them a commanding 81-60 win over the Rocks in this one, with just one Glasgow player getting to double digits in scoring.

The Glasgow side now turn their attention to tomorrow’s big semi-final against the Lions, which is now just hours away from tip-off, the Rocks will be looking to put this one behind them and move on to tomorrow’s game.

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