Plymouth Raiders 95-88 London Lions (16-16, 36-42, 64-68)
The London Lions couldn’t follow up an opening day win as they lost on Sunday afternoon in Plymouth.
The Raiders themselves were beaten on the road on Friday, but Paul James’ side produced a strong finish; spurred on by their home support.
The home side’s 4-0 start was halted as the Lions chased back to tie a scrappy first quarter at 16-16. With multiple fouls hampering the visitors, Coach Macaulay rotated his bench albeit Jordan Spencer hadn’t made the trip after a sore back from Friday. As the half was coming to a close, Andre Lockhart and Jerrell Okoro combined to put the visitors up 36-42
In the third Raiders rallied as Captain Zak Wells closed to within a point at 44-45, the Lions’ Ladarius Tabb hit 5 points to revive the cushion but crucial turnovers allowed Raiders to cut the deficit to 64-68 on a Josh Wicher lay up going into the final quarter.
In the fourth with 5 minutes left to play, the game was tied at 76 apiece. The Lions had only given up five scores from beyond the arc, however suddenly Joonas Jarvalainen exploded for three in a matter of 3 minutes, turning the run in on it’s head, suddenly the Lions were down 88-80 with 2 minutes left.
Brandon Peel hit a three out of a time out, Lions pressed and stole the ball but Justin Robinson missed the triple that would have made it a two point game. The Lions had to go into foul mode but couldn’t rescue the game as the Raiders took it 95-88.
Lions scorers – Robinson 23, Tabb 22, Peel 17, Okoro 9, Larkai 9, Lockhart 8,
Raiders Scorers; Jarvelainen 28, Wilcher 26, Nicholas 16