Lions 78–88 Rocks

Lions v Rocks: Match Report

London Lions 78 (24,44,66) (Ogedengbe 24, Sturt 14, James 13)
Glasgow Rocks 88 (26,47,67) (Robinson 25, Harrison 18, Murray 11)

The Rocks have won back-to-back games and move up to fifth in the BBL Championship table after overcoming the London Lions 78-88 in a game in which the sides exchanged blows throughout. It was Glasgow’s first win on the road in four games, and the Lions’ second home defeat in three after winning their first six games at Crystal Palace.

Donald Robinson led the Rocks with 25 points and 5 assists, with EJ Harrison scoring 18 and Gareth Murray 11. Tayo Ogedengbe led the Lions with 25 points but fouled out down the stretch.

The Rocks scored the first 4 points through Sterling Davis and Michael Ringgold and, despite being pegged back by Perry Lawson’s three-pointer, established an early 6-11 lead with Murray hitting a three-pointer and Davis scoring again. But the Lions soon found their feet as they recorded an 11-2 run, capped by a three-pointer and 5 straight points from Adrien Sturt. The Rocks called a timeout and responded with a 6-2 push, retaining a narrow 24-26 lead after the opening ten minutes.

And the Rocks started the second quarter quickly, with 6 points in a minute, and a three-pointer from Owen McNally making the score 27-35. The same player scored again soon after, taking him to 7 second quarter points, and the Rocks led by double-figures at 29-39. But, characteristically for this game, the pendulum swung once more as the Lions came back in the run up to half time. A quick 11-2 run in just two minutes, with Ogedengbe scoring 6 points, made it 40-43 and, despite not being able to tie the game, the Lions trailed only 44-47 at the half.

The Rocks had the better of a tight opening to the second half as Robinson’s three-pointer put them 50-56 in front and they maintained a lead as the teams exchanged baskets through the third period. But the Lions, inspired again by Ogedengbe, turned it back around as the forward scored 6 in a row for a 62-61 lead with three minutes to play. There were four lead changes in those final three minutes, and it was the Rocks who edged it going into the decisive fourth quarter at 66-67 as Robinson scored on the buzzer.

And that set the tone for them, at they started the fourth quarter with a 7-2 tear, capped by EJ Harrison’s three-pointer and forcing the Lions into a timeout. Robinson scored for the Rocks immediately after the timeout as the Lions missed five early shots and committed a turnover. But just as it looked as though the Rocks had a stranglehold on the game, the Lions hit back with 9 unanswered points, ignited by Lawson’s triple, to take the lead back once more at 77-76 with five minutes to play. Entering the last three minutes, Andrew Wedemire hit a three-pointer; the same player then blocked Mike Martin’s shot and initiated the break that led to Harrison adding another score, in what proved to be the decisive spell. The Rocks did finally go on to establish that commanding lead that both teams had been looking for all game as Harrison made four free-throws inside the last two minutes for a score of 78-88 that doesn’t tell the full story of this game.

The Rocks weekend isn’t over yet, they take on Worcester Wolves tomorrow evening, before a short Christmas break. The last game of 2012 is on Sunday 30th December at the Emirates Arena, tickets going quickly online – get yours now! www.glasgowrocks.co.uk/tickets/

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