Rocks go down in OT

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Leicester Riders 81 (19,35,48) (Hassan 16, Rowe 16, Couisnard 11, Sullivan 11)
Glasgow Rocks 72 (23,34,47) (Harrison 16, Murray 16, Northern 12)

Defending British Basketball League champions Leicester Riders continued the strong start of the 2013-14 BBL campaign by outlasting a spirited Rocks performance 81-72 in overtime.

The win allowed Riders to improve to a 5-1 record, which is good enough for joint second in the league standings, while Rocks stayed eighth after dropping to 1-3.

It was a dream start for Rocks, who opened the game with an 8-0 run, led by a pair of long-range bombs from Gareth Murray.

After an and-one play by Chez Marks, the visitors from Glasgow increased the difference to 22-9, but Riders went on a 10-1 run to cut the deficit to four.

Midway through the second quarter, Rocks shot ahead by double digits once again (32-21), but the hosts, led by Andrew Sullivan, responded with 14 points in a row to take the lead for the first time in the game.

The lead changed hands six times in the third quarter, with Riders finishing the period with a marginal 48-47 advantage.

Rashad Hassan had given Riders a 59-54 lead in the fourth quarter, but EJ Harrison answered with a triple and Daniel Northern added two more points to tie it at 59-59.

Northern’s dunk with a minute remaining gave Rocks a 67-65 advantage, but Hassan answered with a quick game-tying basket on the other end, which sent the game into overtime.

Riders scored the first five points in the extra period to take a 72-67 advantage, which proved to be enough to take the hard-fought victory.

Rashad Hassan and Anthony Rowe collected 16 points each for the victorious Riders, with the latter also adding 12 rebounds.

Rocks were led by the duo of EJ Harrison and Gareth Murray, who also finished the game with 16 points apiece, while Daniel Northern added a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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