Lions maintain perfect record with big home win. Surrey scorched with stunning first half performance at Copper Box
A dominant first half paved the way for London Lions as Surrey Scorchers were defeated 88-73 at the Copper Box, on Friday.
The victory saw the Lions improve to 4&0 in the BBL Cup group stage, wrapping up a place in the quarter-finals, and a home win against Bristol Flyers on Sunday will go a long way towards securing home court advantage in the last eight.
After both Lions’ and Scorchers players, staff and fans had remembered London’s assistant coach Andrea Boreland who died last week, with 24 seconds of applause the home side produced a stunning first period that one of the true characters in British basketball would have been proud of.
The always reliable Chris Tawiah got the hosts of to a great start with a dunk and scores from Isaiah Reese and Jordan Williams saw them rush into a 6-0 lead.
Saiquan Davis got the visitors off the mark, but Lions replied with a 7-0 run capped by a Dirk Williams triple and it was one way traffic as Julian Washburn’s three made it 22-6 on the five minute mark ,
Inevitably Scorchers did manage to slow the hosts down after such a blistering start but a Dirk Williams lay-up sent Vince Macaulay’s team into the first break 29-14 ahead and Dirk Williams quickly added to that lead with a trey to open the second period.
Kylor Kelly made it 40-18 midway through the quarter and Lions remained in control as Lorenzo Cugini’s triple sent the home side into the locker room leading 52-29.
A triple from Dirk Williams opened the second half but it was Scorchers who started the third period well as Martelle McLemore’s floater made it 56-43 with five minutes on the clock.
The visitors got the margin down to nine points with 86 third period seconds remaining, but Lions finished strongly as Kelley’s ally-oop from Reese’s assist sent them into the final break with a 63-50 lead.
Scorchers refused to go quietly with Lamar Hamrick and Tayo Ogedengbe, hitting treys to make it 67-58 with just over two fourth period minutes gone but that was as good as it got for the away side as another Kelley dunk got the crowd on their feet.
A step back trey from Washburn saw Lions take a 73-60 lead into the final three minutes and he hit another triple for Dirk Williams joined in the fun from downtown to make it a 17 point game with four minutes on the clock and effectively wrap up the win.
Dirk Williams hit four of his eight three-point attempts on his way to a team-high 20 points, adding seven rebounds and three assists. Reese dished out an impressive 14 assists to go with his 16 points, while Washburn had 15 points and six boards. Kelley added 12 points and Jordan Williams contributed a solid nine points and seven rebounds. Hamrick led the visitors with 20 points.