GAME REPORT: Table topping Leicester Riders prove too strong for Rocks

By Craig Anderson

Four Glasgow Rocks players all contributed with double-figure points, but the contest belonged to Leicester Riders, who strengthened their spot at the top of the BBL standings.

Gareth Murray and his team were hoping for some bounce back after Friday’s defeat to Sheffield Sharks, but it was always going to be a tall order against the league leaders and current in-form team.

And so it proved to be, despite a better fourth quarter that closed the gap, but not enough for the Rocks to take anything from.

David Mpondo started the scoring with a two point lay-up for a very early lead, but Riders immediately hit back with seven unanswered points, courtesy of William Lee with five and Darien Nelson-Henry with two.

With four minutes to go in the opening quarter, Geno Crandall had opened up an 11 point lead at 4-15, followed by Ali Fraser a short time later with a three and Rocks were already trailing in Leicester’s wake.

Isa Brandon and Murray added points late on in the first, but Riders were already streaking ahead with a 12-24 advantage.

The visitors kept the pressure up early in the second session as Fraser, Aaron Falzon and Crandall added to Leicester’s tally and it set the tone for another quarter that was to be one sided in terms of the scoring again.

Keeling’s three pointer and a two point pull up jump from Malcolm showed there was still life about this Glasgow team, but with three minutes to go before half time, Riders reached the 40-point mark and looked every bit like the team at the top of the pile.

Julius Van Sauers and three more from Malcolm narrowed the gap ever so slightly, but the lead had been increased to 19 points at 28-47 by the time both sides came in for the interval.

The third quarter was better for the Rocks as they found the basket much more often than the previous two sessions. However, Leicester were also on their game, outscoring their hosts 31-24 in this 10-minute spell.

Early baskets from Marc Kwedi (3) and Keeling (2) closed the deficit slightly, but Leicester found their rhythm again, putting up 12 unanswered points and it could be argued the game was perhaps gone from Glasgow at this point.

Corey Johnson netted two consecutive three point jumps to make the lead even more commanding while Ronald Delph, Van Sauers and three from Keeling did their best to keep the gap as it was.

Both sides traded points in the opening exchanges of the fourth, but with a relatively comfortable lead, Riders could afford to conserve the energy.

Malcolm scored a couple of three pointers, with further efforts from Van Sauers and Delph also weighed in as the scoreline closed to within 18 points.

That was as close as Glasgow got the end and despite Keeling’s two points with 34 seconds to go, Conner Washington got the last word as Leicester secured their seventh straight league victory.

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