GAME REPORT: Rocks stumble in loss to dominant Raiders

Match report by Alan Caldwell

Rocks after travelling back from Plymouth were looking to quickly turn things around and take revenge against the Raiders in the second game of the double header weekend. After a narrow 63-60 defeat against the Raiders on Friday night down at the Pavilion, the Rocks had plenty of positives to take away from the game and hoped to turn this one into a win on home soil.

A bright spark in that game was Rocks big Ronald Delph, who recorded a double-double, with a dominant 23 points and 10 rebounds. Delph looking to continue on his impressive numbers last time out was unable to do so as Plymouth packed the paint and gained a big lead early on in the game which seen them continue their winning ways.

The Rocks best scoring quarters in this game both came in the second half as they put up 18 points in the third and 19 in the fourth, but still failed to outscore Plymouth in any of the quarters.

Gareth Murray got the first points of the day for the Rocks followed up by two driving layups by Julius Van Sauers as Glasgow attack the paint early on in the first quarter.

Despite a good start to the game, with five minutes left in the first quarter the Raiders go on a 11-2 run extending their early lead by 13 points which saw Will Neighbour hit two threes to give his team an early lead.

The Raiders defence held the Rocks to 15 points in the first quarter and forced six turnovers from the team after a sluggish start to the game for the Rocks which saw the Raiders lead 32-15 after the first quarter.

6 points from Van Sauers, and 4 from Gareth Murray lead the way for the Rocks so far in this game as they looked to up the tempo going into the remaining three quarters.

Despite the first quarter woes that faced the Rocks they began the second quarter in much better fashion as David Mpondo got a quick four points from two made free throws and a driving layup as the Rocks looked the cut Plymouth’s lead down to single-digits.

The baskets slowed down for Plymouth in the first five minutes of the 2nd quarter which saw a more even contents between the two teams, however they still had a 14 point lead on the night after the first quarter.

Part of Glasgow’s early struggles was shooting threes as they started the game off 0/8 from deep, compared to the Raiders 6/12, hitting an impressive 50% from the three point land to start the game off.

Going into the halftime the Raiders had a convincing 50-30 lead over the Rocks which was the biggest lead of the game lead by Rickey McGill with a game high 10 points and 4 steals at halftime followed by Denzel Ubiaro’s 9 points in just 11 minutes off the bench.

Plenty of work left to do for the Rocks in the second half of this game, as they look to fight back and give everything they’ve got to cut into Plymouth’s 20 point lead.

A quick start to the half by the Rocks saw them go on a 8-2 run in the first three minutes of the third quarter with four points from Keeling and two made layups by Van Sauers and Delph.

The Rocks continued their impressive start to the second half throughout the third quarter as they had a reply to every Raider basket. This was not the only positive in the third quarter for the Rocks as Gareth Murray hit the teams first three of the day after previously going cold from outside in the first half.

Similarly to the second quarter, the third was much more evenly balanced between the two teams with Plymouth edging the scoring 23-18 in the quarter and giving them a commanding 73-48 lead on the night.

With the game already looking out of sight, it was time for the Rocks to fight for pride as they didn’t give up battling right to the final buzzer in this one. Rocks guards Christian Keeling and Isa Brandon coming off the bench, were the stand out performers from the Glasgow team as Keeling finished with a game high 16 points and Brandon adding 15.

Despite this it was the Raiders who came away winners in this, as they had four different scorers in double-digits, with Will Neighbour the highest of those finishing with 16 points and shooting 4/5 from deep on the day.

The fourth quarter was another tight encounter between the two teams with the scoring tied 19 apiece in the quarter, but it was the Raiders who ran away with this one in the end after opening up a big gap between the two teams in the first quarter. Final score finished 92-67 to the Raiders as the Rocks will be looking to bounce back from this tough defeat next time out against the Surrey Scorchers in six days time.

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