The Riders are two wins away from a second straight league title, after convincingly beating the Surrey Scorchers on the road. Patrick Whelan led the game with
Whelan wasn’t the only Rider player to reach the 20 point mark, as Mo Walker put up a season high 20 points in as many minutes off the bench. The Uni of Minnesota big man grabbed eight rebounds to pair with his points tally in an impressive effort.
It was raining threes for Leicester, as they knocked down 16 threes in the game in a red hot scoring effort. Whelan made six, and Washington drained three of his own as Leicester scored over 100 points for the eighth league game this season.
For Surrey, Stanley Davis Jr put on a show with 23 points. The Morgan State two-guard had nine rebounds and eight assists in a near triple-double effort, while taking just nine shots.
Despite Davis Jr’s play, it was a convincing win from start to finish, as Leicester won every quarter on the way to a blowout. After falling in a 6-0 hole with a quick Scorchers start, Marc Loving and Patrick Whelan kicked off the Riders’ response with eight points between them in two minutes.
The pairing’s play clicked Leicester’s BBL-best offence into gear, as they commenced a 15-2 run to take an early advantage.
Whelan went off in the first, hitting all four of his threes in the opening period of the game. The William Jewell graduate scored 14 of the Riders’ 28 first-quarter points, as Leicester got off to a hot start, entering the second up 10.
Following up six points in as many minutes in the first, Walker continued his work down low in the second, starting the quarter with two made free-throws. As the Leicester lead grew, the Scorchers made a run back into the game, led by four points from 10-year Scorcher legend Tayo Ogendengbe, cutting a 20 point Riders lead to 13.
In response, the Riders took back the game’s momentum via a five-point burst from Whelan. Bucknall graduate Kimal Mackenzie ended the period for Leicester how it started, with a pair of free throws to make it 54-39 in the Riders’ favour.
Geno Crandall started the second half from deep, getting the Riders underway with a quick three. He made two in the quarter as the reigning MVP locked in offensively, scoring nine points in the third.
The Riders won the period 26-16, extending their lead further to set up a comfortable finish. Walker added four more points to his tally in the closing stages of the quarter to make it 80-58 by the buzzer.
Walker added another two to start the fourth, working down low to maintain the Riders’ offensive momentum. Leicester saw out the game comfortably, as GB guard Conner Washington scored eight to seal a dominant win.
Loughborough’s Evan Walshe ended the game with a three from the corner, as the Riders improve to 19-2 on the season.
They head to Newcastle on Tuesday, hoping to better their rivals and take another step towards their sixth league title.