Report: Riders fall to Lions

Leicester Riders fell 100-62 on the road to the London Lions, making their record 7-10 in the British Basketball League Championship standings. 

A 33-17 third quarter in London’s favour sealed the game, in which the Riders trailed from midway through the opening quarter. 

Miryne Thomas led the Riders with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Leicester shot 33% from the field and went 4-23 from three in a tough offensive showing. 

For the Lions, Irish forward Conor Morgan once again showed his deep shooting threat against Leicester. He went 5-7 from deep on his way to 21 points to lead the game. 

Following a 6-0 Lions start, Kimbal Mackenzie got the Riders on the board with an and-one pull-up from the elbow. 

Leicester matched their opponent’s scoring early, taking a 10-9 lead following TJ Lall’s fadeaway, but couldn’t stop the Lions’ drive to the baskets. London’s first four makes came from attacking the hoop. 

Conor Morgan, whose three-point shooting proved the difference between the teams last time out, hit two straight from distance to build a London lead. It was 28-17 to the hosts after one, and Morgan led the game with eight points. 

The Riders’ defence stepped up in the second quarter. They held the Lions to six points in five minutes to match their opponents once again. 

Thomas led a low-scoring second period for the Riders, putting up 9 points and 4 rebounds by the half. The Cleveland-born forward’s highlight of the game saw him pin Matthew Morgan’s layup attempt to the backboard after scoring four straight points.

Mackenzie’s midrange ability kept Leicester in the game, as the Canadian/British guard drained another deep two with 2:06 left in the second. The Riders entered the locker rooms down 44-32, but remained within striking distance despite shooting 2-12 from three. 

Thomas got the second half underway with a breakaway slam to bring the deficit to 10. The Lions hit back through Conor Morgan, who scored 11 quick points to make the Lions’ lead 21. 

London put the game beyond reach with their three-point shooting in the third. Tarik Phillip’s corner triple with 4:26 left made it 68-42. 

Samuel Idowu and Conner Washington put points on the board for Leicester, Idowu throwing down a putback slam as the Riders’ highlight of the period, but they couldn’t chip into the deficit and ended the third with the score 77-49. 

The fourth was a formality, as London saw it home. Mo Walker went to work for six points inside, but London continued to drop in threes to stretch their lead to 38.

The Riders are back in action on Friday, taking on the Caledonia Gladiators at home.

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