Leicester Riders slipped to a fourth league defeat of the season, going down 73-69 at Bristol Flyers. In a similar pattern to their trophy defeat in the south west, Riders had led for long periods, only for a fourth quarter rally to see the home side over the line.
Jesse Chuku hit a couple of early three pointers before Josh Ward-Hibbert scored eight consecutive points for the Riders as they opened an 18-11 lead.
Levi Bradley pulled his team back into the game, but Leicester would post eight points without reply to lead 28-17 early in the second quarter. Namon Wright’s back-to-back three-pointers kept Leicester’s lead in double figures, but Bristol were able to make inroads into the deficit just before half-time.
Corey Johnson was able to send Riders into the interval with a nine-point lead as he connected from behind the arc for the final score of the first half.
The home side then started the second half strongly to trim Riders’ advantage to only three-points as Lewis Champion got the scoreboard ticking for his team, but Ward-Hibbert and Johnson re-establish a small cushion a 52-44 with twelve minutes to go.
Early in the final quarter, Bristol posted seven points without reply to move 55-54 ahead and for the next five minutes the lead went back and forth. With 2:30 to play, Riders trailed by one-point, but Champion helped the Flyers to a 72-66 advantage.
Andy Thomson halved that with a three-pointer and though he had to more attempts to level the game from behind the arc, neither dropped and Riders slipped to a second consecutive victory against the Flyers.
Riders struggled to find consistency in their shooting and as such whilst they had four players in double-figures, their top score was only 13 from Josh Ward-Hibbert.
The Riders return Home to the Morningside Arena next Friday when they take on the Manchester Giants in the BBL Championship, CLICK HERE to get your tickets!