Raiders score heavily at Wildcats
Plymouth Raiders bounced back from Saturday's BBL Championship setback at Leicester Riders by securing an impressive 113-68 victory over Durham Wildcats at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre yesterday.
A 7-2 start to the game for the home side put the Wildcats on top, and a Keith Page three-pointer helped them extend their lead out to 16-10 with three minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Raiders spurred themselves into life after that, however, as they ended the period the stronger side as they netted six of the final eight points to trim the deficit back to just two points at 18-16 at the end of the opening stanza.
In the second period, the Devon men started strongly as they rattled off a 18-4 burst to open the period to take the score out to 22-34. A further 13-2 tear from the Raiders towards the end of the half took the score out to 28-52, but a three-pointer from Paul Elderkin trimmed the gap slightly to 31-52 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half, the Raiders continued to extend their lead throughout the third period and a Colin O'Reilly three-pointer sparked a 21-2 finish to the period to extend the visitors' lead out to 40 points at 45-85 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, the Raiders continued to extend their lead throughout the remainder of the game and enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 48 points with the score at 62-110 with two minutes left.
Jeremy Bell led all scorers in the contest with 27 points for the Raiders, while Andrew Keister led the scoring for the Wildcats with 16 points.
On Saturday, Leicester pulled off an unlikely 83-80 home victory over Plymouth after being second best for much of the contest.
The class of Great Britain international Drew Sullivan and excellent play by veteran Yorick Williams were enough to see the Riders replace Newcastle Eagles at the top of the Championship.
They held on to top spot yesterday, despite losing 81-74 at Surrey Heat.
There was little to choose between the teams in the first quarter on Saturday. Bell provided the biggest lead of the stanza to make it 15-11 to the Raiders before the Riders' Jamell Anderson completed the scoring to make to 15-13 to the visitors.
The Raiders led 23-22 midway through the second quarter before extending their advantage to 31-22 and then on to 40-26 before a 6-2 Riders run trimmed the gap by half time (42-32). A Bell three made it 55-41 midway through the third quarter and Andrew Lasker's two from the line kept Leicester at bay when he made it 59-47.
However, a 10-0 burst up to the end of the period, capped by back-to-back threes from Williams, brought the Riders back to 59-57 behind.
Williams began the final stanza with a three-point play to edge Leicester ahead 60-59 and the sides traded 5-0 bursts midway through the quarter to level the match at 73-73.
The crucial score came with 48 seconds to play from Williams. His three made it 82-78 to the hosts before Lasker's two from the line reduced the arrears.
Jorge Calvo split his free throws with 12.7 seconds remaining to give the Raiders the chance to force over-time, but first Lasker and then Javarris Barnett missed to give the Riders their eighth win of the league campaign.