Rocks steal the win against the Raiders in Plymouth

In Rocks first matchup in the BBL Cup, they met Plymouth Raiders in the Quarter-Final. After a back-and-forth affair, Rocks ultimately sealed the deal in Plymouth, coming away with the 80-82 victory away from home.

Having already faced this Raiders team twice already this season, Rocks knew what to expect when they faced Plymouth at the Pavillions.

With Kieron Achara and Gareth Murray struggling with niggling injuries, Bo Zeigler would see his first start of the 2018/19 campaign with Kenny Carpenter also seeing his return to the starting lineup.

 

A strong start by Rocks allowed them to jump out to a 19-27  lead in the first quarter. Ali Fraser had 11 points in the early going as Raiders had little answer for him in the paint.

Rocks lead would be short-lived however as Raiders fought their way back into the game. Two consecutive three’s from Raiders’ Devontavius Payne pulled them back to within two points before ultimately taking the 43-41 lead at halftime.

It wasn’t looking good for Rocks as they started off the second half with Raiders pulling away to a 7-point lead. However, two consecutive three’s from Kenny Carpenter quickly brought them back into the game.

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth as both teams fought for the lead. Kenny Carpenter and new signing, Tadas Rinkunas came up big in the 4th knocking down some crucial shots to keep rocks in the game. With 3 minutes left, the game was tied at 73-73.

The final minute was nerve racking to watch as no team seemed to be able to pull away. With 44 seconds left on the clock Kenny Carpenter cut into the teeth of Plymouth’s defence for the floater to put Rocks up 78-80.

Raiders’ Donte Nicholas then was fouled on the other end, sending him to the line where he made two free-throws to tie the game once again.

On Rocks final possession, a miss off a drive inside from Ali Fraser caused a mad scramble for the ball that ultimately fell into the hands of Kieron Achara, who laid the ball in to give Rocks a two-point lead.

With 11 seconds left. Raiders had to get a basket to stay in the game. Donte Nicholas drove inside but was blocked by Kieron Achara, icing the game at 80-82 and sending Rocks into the next round of the BBL Cup.

Kenny Carpenter was named Player of the Game after his key performances down the stretch.

Coach Darryl Wood had the following to say after Rocks win:

“Tonight was a victory we both needed and deserved! The players have to take credit for grinding out that victory. A lot didn’t go our way but we stayed together and executed the game plan for 40 minutes. Tonight its a time to enjoy this but tomorrow it time to focus on the next one.”

 

The Rocks are back in action Sunday night when they play host to the Surrey Scorchers. Get your tickets now!