December 19 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe at the Copper Box
Sunday, October 27, 2013
BBL Championship: London Lions 80 Glasgow Rocks 77
Matthew Bryan-Amaning starred as London Lions fought back in the final quarter to beat a stubborn Glasgow Rocks outfit and move them up to fifth in the British Basketball League Championship.
The hosts were behind on the scoreboard after each of the first three stanzas but 20 points in the last period, including two huge reverse dunks as part of a 28-point personal tally from their top scorer saw them over the line to record a second straight win at the Copper Box.
Adrien Sturt was also impressive for the hosts, plundering 21 points including some crucial three-point efforts that kept the capital club within arm’s reach of the Scottish side for the first half an hour.
Glasgow’s top marksman Gareth Murray was imperious in that opening 20 minutes and deadly accurate from outside the arc until Joe Ikhinmwin got the measure of him and closed him down.
The Rocks ace was then part of the decisive last play when he and player-coach Sterling Davis both missed attempts that would have taken the game into overtime.
But the match-winning Lions run came with the score tied at 70-70 as London put five points on the board and the closest Rocks could get after that was 79-77 with 24 seconds to play.
Bryan-Amaning split two free throws to make it a three point game but it proved enough as Murray and Davis came up short with their last-gasp efforts.
Lions forward Ikhinmwin opened the scoring, collecting his own rebound to lay-up but the Rocks soon settled into a rhythm that saw regular long-range shots rain in.
Indeed, after Murray and Davis had made two big buckets to opening their scoring, furious London head coach Vince Macaulay called a hasty time-out. It mattered little as that would be the pattern of play for the first half with the two Glasgow hotshots adding more field goals from distance while Chez Marks and EJ Harrison also helped themselves to maximum returns from the lane.
A burst of three baskets from Mike Martin, Perry Lawson and three-ball from Sturt reduced the deficit to 17-23 and from there the hosts began to play a high-pressing defensive game that stopped the rot somewhat, though they still ended the first quarter 22-30 down, with 21 of those points down to the accurate and effective shooting of Murray and Marks.
Sturt began to find his range early in the second period and London finally tied the scores at 34 apiece with a showpiece alley-oop from Rod Brown and Bryan-Amaning - not the last time the pair would combine well.
The scoreboard flip-flopped one way and the next until half time with a Harrison breakout and then two from Fran Urli affording the visitors a two-point lead midway through (44-46).
Marks, Harrison and Murray then put on another three-point masterclass with only a massive reply from Sturt punctuating their scoring.
Bryan-Amaning raised the noise level with the first of his slams but still Glasgow edged 60-65 ahead by the penultimate buzzer.
The Lions ace repeated the trick to get the last period underway and he made it a personal mission to see off the Scottish side’s resistance, drawing the hosts level at 70-70 - a momeuntum shifting effort that forced a time-out from Glasgow.
It had little effect in slowing London as Bryan-Amaning and Brown opened up a five point gap, which Harrison momentarily narrowed to two with another pesky three-ball.
But when Bryan-Amaning drew a foul with 10.1 seconds left on the clock the writing was on the wall for Glasgow.
Though he split two free-throws that would have seen off the Scots with no time to recover, it proved just enough to lead the Lions to glory as the Rocks tried desperately in vain to force overtime.