The Riders got back to winning ways in the British Basketball League Championship, beating the Manchester Giants 94-79.
A 29-11 first quarter set the tone, in a game which Leicester never trailed. The hosts fended off the Giants’ runs throughout the game to remain in control wire to wire.
Points contributions came from all over the roster, the Riders getting six double-digit scorers in the box score. Miryne Thomas led the way with 17 points and missed just one shot along the way.
TJ Lall and Kimbal Mackenzie backed him up with 16 each, the latter tallying his points in 23 minutes.
The Giants, on the second day of a back-to-back which has proved difficult for all in the League this season, struggled with the congested schedule in this one. Nick Lewis led the game with 22 points, but couldn’t overcome the Riders’ infectious energy throughout.
Three straight triples settled the Riders into the game, as they bolted out to a seven-point lead. The hosts suffocated the Giants with relentless energy on both ends, holding them to a 4-12 start and bagging a quick 18 points through five minutes of action.
Thomas led the energetic explosion with eight points, two rebounds and two steals. He proved the catalyst for the early run. The Riders led 29-11 after one, starting 5-10 from three.
Washington started the second with the same deep shooting form, nailing a three in his first contribution to the game. He and TJ Lall took charge of the game in the quarter as the Riders maintained their lead.
The Giants matched the Riders in the second but were unable to make significant inroads. Canadian guard Nick Lewis led the game with 12 points at the half, draining a buzzer-beating three from halfcourt, making it 52-36.
Manchester threatened to commence a run coming out of the half, getting the first two buckets to make it a 12 point affair. Lall and Thomas hit back with a pair of threes to stifle any comeback and settle into the second half.
Manchester found form late in the quarter, going on a 7-0 run concluded by Evan Walshe’s three to make it a closer contest with one to play. The difference was 11 points going into the fourth.
Kimbal Mackenzie got the fourth underway with a pair of threes to snatch back momentum in the tie. Jaren Holmes and Mo Walker contributed to a 13-4 start to the final period, which was capped off by a deep three from Washington.
The Riders saw the game out comfortably from there, capped off by Washington taking charge on Lewis for his fifth and final foul.
The Riders are back in action on December 1, taking on London Lions at home.