Glasgow Rocks 74 (13, 30, 46) (Harrison 14, Johnson 13, Northern 11)
Cheshire Phoenix 97 (22, 42, 74) (Coleman 30, Moses 26, Middleton 18)
The Rocks lost ground on fellow play-off rivals Cheshire Phoenix as they went down 97-74 in the BBL clash at the Emirates Arena.
The home side came into the game on the back of two successive victories and a 102-90 win against Phoenix under their belt already this season.
It was a landmark game for three members of the Rocks roster; Johnny Bunyan made his 50th league appearance while EJ Harrison made his 100th and not forgetting new recruit, Chris Johnson, who made his debut.
Having not witnessed a home game in more than two weeks the home support was geared up for this one, which didn’t go unnoticed by new signing, Johnson: “The fans are great. I hear a lot of compassionate people speaking on the side-lines like coaches and I love that”.
Chris Johnson's debut was one of the few positives from last night, scoring 13pts and adding 5reb in the 74-97 loss pic.twitter.com/edVprZGV3p
— Glasgow Rocks (@rocksglasgow) February 3, 2014
Right from the off the Phoenix took the lead and they never looked back for the entirety of the match.
The Rocks struggled to find success around the basket early on and mid-way through the opening quarter the Phoenix had built up a 10-point lead over their hosts.
Late in the first the Rocks had hit a mere 25% of their three pointers while Phoenix made 50% of theirs and took a 22-13 score line into the second.
Rocks made up a bit of ground in the 2nd as they closed the gap to just 4pts before the travelling team pulled away once more and led 42-30 at the halfway point.
The half-time stats summed up the game to that point with Rocks only managing 31% shooting, with only 3/16 three pointers. Cheshire were also leading the rebounds 27-17 and had 22 points in the paint compared to Glasgow’s 8.
The story was much the same in the 3rd as the Phoenix extended their lead to 28pts by the end of the quarter, having outscored the home side 32-16.
Sterling was visibly unhappy during the quarter at his side’s poor performance on the court.
Tempers frayed and things got heated in the 4th as Phoenix’s Mike Creppy and Gareth Murray got into an altercation before Gareth fouled out.
Rocks narrowed the deficit during the 4th before Creppy made a three on the final buzzer, which rattled Sterling’s nerves and caused further confrontations between the sides at the end of the game.
Chris Johnson had some encouraging words after the game though, saying: “I just hope we can turn things around. I feel like we’re going to, I feel like next week is going to be a big game and we’ve got the next five days to really push forward and to work hard in practice. Everybody’s shown that we’re committed to getting wins and getting into that play-off spot.”
EJ lead the scoring for the Rocks with 14pts, Johnson had 13pts/5rebs and Northern put up 11pts/6rebs.
For Cheshire Phoenix; Coleman 30pts, Moses 26pts/11rebs and Middleton 18pts/9asts.