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Report: Riders fall on the road to the Lions

Leicetser Riders lost 105-89 to the London Lions on the road, to fall to 15-13 in the British Basketball League Championship. 

The sides were squared at 27 after one, but an explosion in the second quarter from the Lions gave them a 20 point advantage which the Riders were unable to overcome in the second half. 

Leicester won the final three quarters by 5, but couldn’t find enough to get back into it. 

Teddy Allen led the game with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals, continuing to establish himself as the League’s premier scorer. He was backed by Miryne Thomas, who scored 10 in the third quarter on his way to 17 points to get the Riders offence back in rhythm. 

But the issues were on the defensive end. The Lions had five double digit scorers, led by 17 points from Sam Dekker, and the team shot 58% from the field. 

The Riders burst out to a 9-2 start, attacking with authority led by four from Kimbal Mackenzie out the gate. London hit back in minutes to tie it at 11, but the Riders established their offence early to go toe to toe with the hosts. 

Allen scored seven in the first five minutes, getting buckets on the board early. A minute later, he drove the length of the floor on the fastbreak for the second time in the game, scoring his second and-one play.

Dekker, in his return to the roster from injury, got to work to close the first. He scored seven straight points to take the lead for London. But the first ended 27-27 led by 9 points from Allen. 

London started the second quarter 6-0 to extend out to a lead. They found success at the rim, as the Riders did early, scoring their first five buckets of the period in close to force a Rob Paternostro timeout. 

Tarik Phillip scored six points in three minutes for London on their run. They made it a double digit lead through David Nwaba, who was found on a backdoor cut to make it 41-30. 

The onslaught continued through to the half, the Lions winning the second quarter 33-14 to take a 60-41 advantage, led by 12 from Dekker at the break. 

The Lions picked up in the third quarter where they left the second, scoring six straight to grow their lead. Thomas found joy for the Riders to score 10 points in three and a half minutes, but visitors couldn’t slow down London’s scoring to break into the deficit. 

The Lions won the third 28-23 to lead 88-64 with one to play. 

The Riders went bucket for bucket to start the fourth, once again finding success at the hoop. Blake Bowman’s free throws made it an 8-6 start to the period. 

But London saw it out late, having built enough of a lead early to secure the win. 

The Riders return to action on Sunday, staying on the road to face the Bristol Flyers.