GAME REPORT: Rocks unable to continue challenge for BBL Cup in Leicester

Report: Leicester Riders 93 Glasgow Rocks 59

By Craig Anderson

Glasgow Rocks were unable to continue the fighting spirit that got their first league win on Sunday as they were knocked out of the BBL Cup by Leicester Raiders.

Another tricky road trip proved to be exactly that as the Raiders moved into the semi-finals, repeating what they did last season with a comfortable 93-59 win over Gareth Murray’s men.

The home side went seven points up without reply in the opening couple of minutes as Darien Nelson-Henry, William Lee and Corey Johnson all contributed.

Julius Van Sauers got Glasgow on the board, but they were already playing catch-up. Jamel Anderson and Geno Crandall added more for Leicester to keep them ahead.

By the end of the opening quarter, Van Sauers (6) and Boban Jacdomni (4) were the only two on target for Glasgow, trailing by ten points and not looking in the best position.

If the first session was an inkling that it wouldn’t be the Rocks’ night, the second period confirmed it as Riders won the 10-minute quarter 31-16 to open up quite the gap in scoring.

Former Rock Ali Fraser and Aaron Falzon racked up 11 points between them in the first couple of minutes, with Jacdomni replying with only four points and it was a 17-point difference at 31-14 before Rocks called a timeout.

Van Sauers and Jacdomni responded with two points each, but Johnson’s three-point jump shot effectively killed that brief comeback off.

Isa Brandon and Jonny Bunyan finally got on the board in the last couple of minutes before half time, but Leicester were 51-26 in front at the break.

Rocks pulled the deficit back to 20 in the early minutes of the third quarter as Nelson-Henry earlier two pointer was cancelled out by Van Sauers’ pull up jump shot before Bunyan and David Mpondo added five between them.

However, 11 unanswered points from the home side reasserted their control on the game and they never looked back, despite Glasgow’s best efforts.

Riders hit the 70-point mark with three minutes left of the third as Zach Jackson finished off a couple of free throws and by the end of the quarter, the gap had widened to 35 points.

Glasgow just couldn’t put any their opportunities early in the final session as Leicester again added 13 points without reply to make the scoreline much more one-sided.

Brandon, with eight points and Jacdomni with five, helped ensure Glasgow won the fourth quarter 18-17, but it changed nothing to the overall result, leaving Leicester to look forward to a last four date in the BBL Cup while Glasgow were left to contemplate the long journey back home, albeit one step further than was achieved in the previous season.

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