London Lions Lose 78-68 Away to Buducnost Voli. Sam Dekker’s 27-Point and 8-Rebound Performance Not Enough After a Poor Start to the Game from the Londoners
The encounter started as a low-scoring affair, with both teams missing seven combined shots to open the quarter. Cameron Reynolds broke Buducnost’s duck at the 08:27 mark of the first period, whereas Sam Dekker opened the London Lions’ account with two free throws one minute later.
It took another two minutes for Buducnost to see the ball go through the net again due to an unfortunate Luke Nelson turnover (6-2). However, London’s scoring difficulties continued for three minutes, with Dekker again keeping the Lions in the game via a free throw (6-3). Jaleel O'Brien replied with two back-two-back buckets to extend the Montenegrin's lead to 10-3.
More sloppy play plagued the game for a further two minutes until two free throws from Ovie Soko, followed by a mid-range bucket from Vojtech Hruban, helped the Londoners to cut the Montenegrin lead down to three points (10-7). Buducnost ended the period with a 13-7 lead.
Neither team connected from long-range, during the first quater, and the Lions shot an abysmal 8.3% from inside the arc. Miye Oni picked two fouls in the first period, which hampered the 2-way specialist from applying more pressure when defending one-on-one.
The second quarter saw a lot more clinical offensive execution resulting in increased points production from both teams, with the Podgorica-based outfit recording 24 points to the Lions' 19. The Lions got off to a 2-6 run to close the gap to two points (15-13).
Unfortunately, this was the closest the Lions got to tying the score in the quarter as Voli went on a 10-4 run to extend the lead to a 25-17 advantage. Trae Bell-Haynes, Erick Green and Alpha Kaba shared the points production soils for Buducnost toward the end of the period, with Dekker closing the quarter with a much-needed 3-pointer (37-26).
Dekker ended the half as the only player in a Lions uniform to record double-digit points (14). London as a team conceded 12 turnovers, contributing to 16 of Voli’s first-half points.
Both teams traded buckets during the opening three and a half minutes of the third until high-flying Brit Josh Sharma subbed in and sparked a 7-0 run (which included two back-to-back buckets of his own). The latter was via Jordan Taylor’s crossover and slick behind-the-back dime to the seven-foot big man, causing Voli to call a timeout.
Although the foray of scoring cut Buducnost’s lead down to four points (43-39), Voli kept the Londoners at bay by going on an 11-5 run to end the quarter (54-44).
London increased their points production for the second straight quarter but ultimately couldn’t stem the tide of Voli’s scoring output, recording and conceding 24 points. Buducnost’s lead ballooned to 14 points (64-50) at the 06:33 mark of the fourth quarter but was cut into moments later via Hruban’s much-needed triple (64-53).
London went on a 9-5 run to close the gap to seven points (69-62). However, Voli’s Erick Green, Kaba, and Bell-Haynes kept the Lions at a distance scoring nine points to the Lions' six to end the final quarter and inflict London with their second straight EuroCup loss.