Double-doubles from Nick Lewis and Demond Watt help London Lions continue their hunt for sixth place in the BBL Championship on Saturday night.
BBL Championship Bristol Flyers 65 (4,23,41) (Seilund 16, Lee 14, Tinsley 10) London Lions 78 (26,53,63) (Lewis 19, K. Williams 14, Owumi 13)
London Lions continued their hunt for sixth place in the BBL Championship as they blew away Bristol Flyers early on to set up a 78-65 win – a first road win in seven, although it is their second double-digit win in Bristol of the campaign.
Lions were led by two big double-doubles: 19 points and 10 assists from point guard Nick Lewis, and 10 points with 11 rebounds from Demond Watt.
And both of those two scored in a 13-0 opening, all five of London’s starters registering in a run that was capped by Alex Owumi’s three-pointer, as they held their hosts scoreless for nearly five minutes. Kai Williams, Nick Lewis and Zach Gachette all added triples in the first quarter and, in one of the best ten minute spells of any team this season, they won the opening period 26-4.
Flyers, the lowest-scoring team in the BBL, netted only three times in the opening eleven minutes and would never get back to within single figures, Lions punishing them with 22 points from the 14 turnovers they forced in the game.
Gachette and Owumi added further three-pointers in a second stanza burst of nine unanswered to send the lead through thirty at 39-9, and it stayed of that magnitude until the half time break.
Lions had their own barren spell in the second half, scoring just 10 points in the third quarter, and that gave the hosts some hope as they initially trimmed the lead when Mathias Seilund hit a three-pointer and Doug McLaughlin-Williams scored two triples in a row to make the score 59-36.
The hosts had a go late on, winning the fourth quarter comfortably, but they could only get as close as the final score when Jordan Ranklin finished the game off with a three-pointer. Lewis, with nine points in the fourth quarter, had kept the Lions ticking over and they cruised home.
It sets up a big final game of the season for Lions, as they host league champions, Leicester Riders, on Sunday. Lions will secure sixth spot as long as they match Cheshire Phoenix’s result against Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, courtesy of having the head-to-head with Cheshire.
Results – Sunday 17 April 2016
All 12 teams were in action on an eventful final day of the 2015-16 BBL regular season with Leeds Force claiming the final spot in the Play-Offs.
Matt Newby’s side held their nerve late on to defeat Surrey Scorchers 82-78 on the road with Marek Klassen leading the way with 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
The league’s top two sides both fell to defeats as Leicester Riders went down 73-62 to London Lions in the capital, while Esh Group Eagles Newcastle suffered a 105-84 loss away at Cheshire Phoenix with Kinu Rochford pouring in 40 points.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Rocks defeated Worcester Wolves 80-69 in a dress rehearsal for next week’s Play-Off encounter, while Plymouth University Raiders claimed an 84-76 win against Sheffield Sharks, but it wasn’t enough to make the post-season.
Finally, there was a win for Manchester Giants as they avoided a bottom placed finish with a 78-60 success at home to Bristol Flyers to conclude the day’s action.
Leeds Force 72 (25,39,57) (Klassen 19, Wells/Waller/Anebo 12)
Leeds Force survived a late scare to cement their place in the BBL Play-Offs for the first time after finishing the regular season with a 72-68 victory at Surrey Scorchers.
The home side tied the game at 68 inside the final minute, but Marek Klassen stepped up with the game-winner before Kwan Waller iced a historic win from the free throw line for their fourth consecutive success.
Klassen was instrumental for Leeds with 19 points, seven rebounds, eight assists as well as five steals to help his side edge out Plymouth University Raiders for 8th spot. The trio of Waller, Zak Wells and Armand Anebo provided valuable support with 12 points apiece.
The Scorchers moved into an early lead in the first quarter, but Force began to find their rhythm and a 10-2 run across quarters saw them open up a double-digit advantage. The lead grew to as large as 11 in the first half before the visitors went into the break, 39-31 ahead.
The home side began to fight back in the third and closed to within three points, only for Leeds to finish the period with a 9-0 run to lead by 12 going into the fourth. There was to be another twist as Surrey opened the final quarter with a 15-2 run to take the lead at 60-59.
Leeds moved back in front and they led 68-63, only to see their opponents level the game with 36 seconds remaining before keeping their nerve to secure victory with the final four points.
The reward for making the Play-Offs for Leeds is a first round clash against the league champions, Leicester Riders having beaten them in their most recent encounter.
Scorchers were led by Mike Anderson’s 19 points as they closed the season with a 7-26 record.
London Lions 72 (26,42,57) (Owumi 16, Gachette 15, Lewis 13)
London Lions enjoyed a convincing end to the regular season as they defeated a rested Leicester Riders side 72-63.
The visitors, who had celebrated winning the BBL Championship title on Friday night, opted to use a number of Loughborough and Charnwood student players with several league debuts handed out.
Despite the defeat, the Riders set a new record for the lowest Points Allowed per game average – epitomising their dominance on the defensive end over the course of the campaign.
As for London, the victory sees them secure sixth place in the league with Alex Owumi top scoring for the home side with 16 points, while Zach Gachette and Nick Lewis weighed in with 15 and 13 points respectively.
The Lions made a strong start with Owumi netting consecutive triples to help his side open up a commanding 26-16 advantage at the end of the first. The gap grew to as many as 15 points in the second as London remained in control going into half-time.
Despite facing a 16-point deficit by the end of the third, the Riders youngsters continued to fight and managed to cut the gap to single figures before coming up short.
Andre Arissol top scored for the Riders with 16 points with Raheem May-Thompson also in double figures with 15 as the league champions finish their regular season campaign with 29 wins and four defeats.
The Riders take on Leeds Force in the first round, while the Lions face Sheffield Sharks.
Plymouth University Raiders did what they needed to do on the final day of the regular season, but missed out on a place in the Play-Offs despite their 84-76 victory against Sheffield Sharks.
The Raiders put together a strong finish to claim the win with an 11-0 close, but finish in ninth as a result of Leeds Force’s win earlier in the day.
Daryl Corletto top scored for his side with 25 points, while Cory Dixon flirted with a triple-double after putting up 18 points along with 12 rebounds and eight assists.
The visitors started with an 8-2 run, but after Plymouth settled, the Sharks would only have a narrow two-point lead at the end of the first. The Sharks moved ahead by as many as seven in the second when the returning Jerrold Brooks netted a triple.
Sheffield maintained their advantage throughout the third, but were unable to pull away and the home side took the lead with the opening score of the fourth quarter. The lead continued to change hands until a pair of free throws from Mike Tuck – who finished with 19 points and 16 boards – made the score 76-73 in favour of the Sharks with 90 seconds remaining.
However, the Raiders stormed to victory with Adrien Sturt netting back-to-back baskets to edge his side ahead before they scored the final seven points from the foul line to seal the win.
While the Raiders miss out on the post-season, Sheffield advance as the third seeds having amassed a 20-13 record in the regular season. The Sharks face London Lions in the Quarter-Finals of the Play-Offs.
Glasgow Rocks wrapped up their regular season with an 80-69 triumph over Worcester Wolves with the two teams meeting again next week in the first round of the BBL Play-Offs.
Both teams spread minutes throughout their rosters with the Rocks benefiting from a balanced scoring attack with Will Hall, Andre Stephens and Jordan Clarke all netting 15 points each.
The home side made a hot start from downtown in a 13-3 opening, but Worcester produced a strong finish to the quarter with an 8-2 close to cut the gap to two points. The visitors then moved ahead with an 8-0 run, but this time the Rocks enjoyed the better finish with a seven points in a row to lead 40-36 at half-time.
Glasgow led by seven midway through the third period before Worcester set up an exciting finish as the two teams went into the final quarter level. However, the Rocks would go on to secure a comfortable win as they pulled away with a 15-4 burst in the fourth.
Jordan Aaron had a game-high 16 points for the visitors with the two teams finishing with identical 19-14 records, but Worcester claim a top-four spot having already won the head-to-head series.
Cheshire Phoenix 105 (32,53,83) (Rochford 40, Huffor 29, Taylor 15)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (16,35,60) (Defoe 21, Smith 16, Chapman 14)
Cheshire Phoenix warmed up for their Play-Offs encounter with Esh Group Eagles Newcastle next week with a resounding 105-84 victory to conclude the regular season.
Kinu Rochford produced a monster double-double with 40 points and 14 rebounds, while Danny Huffor added 29 points to take his weekend points tally to 67. Cheshire shot above 50% from the field and made a total of 13 3-pointers during the contest.
The home side were behind early on, but took control with a dominant 15-0 spell as they went on to lead 32-16 after the opening 10 minutes. The Eagles closed within nine in the second, but another strong run from Cheshire saw the lead balloon to 19 points just before the half.
It was more of the same when play resumed in the third for the hosts and an 11-2 run extended the lead beyond 20 points. Cheshire were in complete control and their lead peaked at 31 points in the final quarter before Newcastle finished with the final 10 points of the game.
Darius Defoe top scored for the Eagles with 21 points as the visitors were under-manned without injured duo Scott Martin and Andy Thompson.
Fab Flournoy’s side finish with a 28-5 record and now turn their attention to defending their Play-Offs title with an immediate chance of avenging today’s defeat against Cheshire.
Manchester Giants 78 (16,40,59) (Jones 20, Gill 19, Williams 14)
Bristol Flyers 60 (12,29,53) (Streete 20, Lee 15, Edozie 12)
Manchester Giants rounded out their regular season campaign with a 78-60 victory against Bristol Flyers to avoid finishing bottom of the BBL Championship.
Callum Jones led the way with 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting along with eight assists, while Stefan Gill added 19 points to lift the Giants above Surrey Scorchers in the standings with an eighth league victory.
There was little between the two sides in the early stages with the Giants narrowly edging a low-scoring opening period. However, the home side broke clear in the second with a 12-4 opening before player-coach Yorick Williams extended the lead to 15 points with a three midway through the quarter.
The Flyers produced a strong close to the half to trim the deficit and continued their momentum in the third as they cut the gap to just two points at 42-40. Triples either side of the third quarter buzzer from Williams put his side back into the ascendancy and they never looked back.
A controlling 14-2 run secured the win for the Giants with Greg Streete top scoring for the visitors with 20 points as his side dropped to a 9-24 record to finish in 10th.
Daniel Edozie fired in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to complete a double-double after collecting 18 rebounds to go with 12 points.