London Lions too hot for Scorchers
PUBLISHED: 15:16 03 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 November 2016
London Lions 103 Surrey Scorchers 73
Alex Owumi’s 27 points paced a ferocious London Lions attack that took down BBL rivals Surrey Scorchers at the Copper Box last night.
BBL player of the month Rashad Hassan clocked up another double-double (23, 13) as the Lions recovered from their first defeat of the season in Sheffield with a performance that had the home fans up on their feet.
Coach Nigel Lloyd was particularly pleased with the team effort, emphasised by a stylish full team, full court sequence that saw behind-the-back passes and a slam from Hassan.
The Lions had a strong start, quickly building up a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter, largely thanks to a well taken three by Andre Lockhart on the buzzer.
But sloppy turnovers and some good steals from Surrey meant that the Guildford side kept the pressure up.
The second quarter started similarly, with the Scorchers trying to eat into the Lions’ double-digit lead but by half time the hosts looked to be coasting, with a 49-35 lead, fuelled by shooting 53 per cent from behind the arc.
The Lions came out to another third quarter wobble, with the lead shrinking to as low as five halfway through the quarter.
It then started raining threes for the Lions, with Owumi, Kai Williams and Zaire Taylor all successfully shooting back-to-back from downtown to put London’s lead back up to a healthy 12 points just over a minute later.
A 14-point cushion gave the Lions a chance to put on a show for the crowd in the fourth quarter, with behind-the-back passes, three-point shots, blocks and slam dunks wowing the Lions faithful.
Kevin Moyo went streaking on to a long pass from the mercurial Zaire Taylor, whose numbers were startling with 14 points, 10 assists and seven steals.
The fight had gone from the Scorchers and the final score was a pleasing 30 point victory, the 11th for the Lions in the last 12 over Surrey.
Asked about Surrey’s third-quarter rally, coach Lloyd said: “We have a saying ‘keep peddling down’. We want to keep pushing it, remind the guys that this is our goal, not to play even with Surrey but to play better than them and our guys picked up the slack.
“We hit three threes in a row and got rolling from there.”
The Lions, undefeated at home, are next in action in Plymouth on Sunday, before returning to the Copper Box to take on Newcastle on Sunday November 13 (4pm).
The small matter of a BBL Cup quarter-final in Leicester is sandwiched inbetween on November 12.
Lions; Owumi 27, Hassan 23, K Williams 22, Taylor 14, Lockhart 10, J Williams 5, Moyo 2, Ikhinmwin 0, Ashby 0.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.