BBL Cup: Surrey Scorchers 80 London Lions 77
PUBLISHED: 14:37 27 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 27 October 2019
London Lions were left to rue an horrendous first half as they fell to defeat against Surrey on Saturday.
Home captain Tayo Ogedengbe scored nine points in a matter of minutes to put the Scorchers on top, as the Lions defence proved sluggish.
The visitors launched a series of unsuccessful three pointers as their rivals led 26-18 at the first break.
And the Scorchers continued with the same intensity in the second quarter as Adrian Kuyinu scored eight points in four minutes to extend the lead to 20 points.
The Lions were drawing blanks everywhere and the three-point count at half time was 1/17 and there seemed no way back as they trailed 50-32.
The Lions came out fighting in the second half, as BBL MVP Justin Robinson and forward Brandon Peel joined forces to apply some pressure to the home team.
But despite a few defensive stops, Scorchers held their nerve and headed into the fourth quarter with a 15-point lead.
This gap proved to be pivotal as the Lions came racing out to a 21-5 run in the final quarter, as Jules Dang-Akodo hit five in a row, Robinson stole the ball to score before Peel found him for an uncontested lay-up.
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Multiple defences had frustrated the home side to the point that Dang-Akodo drained a three giving the Lions an improbable lead with under two minutes to go.
After a 13-0 run the Lions had the ball, then turned it over, which led to Ogedengbe hitting a turnaround jumper at the elbow to go 75-74 up, Jordan Jackson grabbed the Scorchers miss and this time Peel made no mistake off the Lockhart assist to drain a triple.
That made it 77-75 with 68 seconds left, then an off-balance falling three from Kiyunu at the end of the shot clock restored the Scorchers lead by one point at 78-77.
Coming out of a time out, Dang-Akodo's floater was long but Sam Toluwase snared the rebound and found Robinson with just 11 seconds left, he drove to the hoop and missed with the Lions bench up calling for a foul, but none was given.
The Lions had to foul and two big free-throws from Skyler White extended the Scorchers lead to three points with four seconds remaining, and a last-second shot from Robinson was unsuccessful.
The Lions fell to 1-4 with five games left in the qualifiers to try to get through to the quarter-finals.
Disgruntled coach Macaulay said: "The game became too big for the officials, but I have to say my team were the worst team in the building and we deserved nothing from there.
"The fightback was fine but just showed a lack of mental readiness for how poor we were in the first half. Credit to the Scorchers who shot well in the game, but I think we are a work in progress."
The Lions will return to action on Friday November 1 when the London City Royals are the visitors for a capital derby.