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Five things we learned from facing the Lions

Last night, the Riders went toe to toe with the table-topping London Lions, falling just short in a 102-94 loss.

Here’s what we can learn from the fixture.

Hanging with the best

From wire to wire, this Riders roster showed it could compete with the best the British Basketball League has to offer. It was a one-score game at the end of the second and third quarters before the Lions found late form in the fourth. 

It was just a four-point game late after Miryne Thomas’ layup in close, the Riders hanging around until the final buzzer. 

After their blowout of the Eagles last time out, and pushing London all the way, Leicester are growing into the season and establishing themselves as a contender for the top end of the table game by game. 

Caleb’s tenacity 

Last night’s Wok 68 Player of the Game was Caleb Asberry, who covered every inch of the floor in an energetic display. 

Asbery’s infectious energy spread through the entire Arena, snatching the ball of the Lions three times, including a timely steal on Donte Grantham to end the half, which led to two important points. 

He finished with a stat line of 16 points, 9 rebounds, three steals and three blocks, all worth an index rating of 30. He made his mark all over the stat sheet and kept the Riders in the tie through heart and hustle. 

Offence clicked into gear

The Riders’ offence has been a strength all season, but in this one it showed it can contest with the League’s most productive and high-firing unit. 

Four of the Riders starters scored in double-digit points, Xavier Pinson missing out by only one, and Kimbal Mackenzie made an incredible impact off the bench with 17. 

Competing with a Lions side that had three 20-point scorers on the game, the Riders have consistently found multiple plates who can put the ball in the basket up and down the roster. 

Led by Jaren Holmes’ 18 points, topping the Riders’ scoring charts once again, the Riders shot 47% from the field and 35% from three, their killer efficiency allowing them to go blow for blow with the Lions.

After their 111-point scoring night against the Eagles, the Riders have proven their ability to blow anybody out of the water on any given night. 

Recipe for rebounding  

After having difficulty on the defensive glass throughout the season, the Riders had no such issues last night. 

They kept the Lions off the offensive boards completely for three and a half quarters to secure every defensive possession and won the offensive rebounding battle 9-5 by the finish. 

It was a group rebounding effort, with five Riders finishing the game with four or more, and all but one player contributing to the rebounding tally. 

It’s a momentous step in the right direction should the Riders find the same success against the Cheshire Phoenix. 

The sixth man

The Riders fed off the Morningside crowd all evening long, allowing them to battle back from deficits and keep it a game throughout. 

Your energy spurred the team on and came agonisingly close to getting us over the line for a hard-fought win. 

Thank you for your incredible support, and we need you back behind the team on November 25 as we take on the Manchester Giants!

Get your tickets here!