London Lions
Plymouth City Patriots

Lions warmed up for Tuesday night’s Europe Cup game against Avtodor Saratov with a tight 101-94 victory at Plymouth City Patriots, on Friday evening.

The game saw the league’s top three scorers in action, and the trio didn’t disappoint with Lions’ Isaiah Reese and Dirk Williams finishing with 22 points apiece while Plymouth’s Kofi Josephs had a game-high 27. Williams hit five of his seven three point attempts, adding five rebounds, while Reese added 12 assists and converted four of his attempts from outside the arc.

Lorenzo Cugini added 18 points, Julian Washburn finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Kylor Kelley had a 10-point, 12 rebound double-double. Captain Justin Robinson came off the bench to finish with 11 points in just under 19 minutes, while Rashad Hassan and Antonio Williams each chipped in with 24 points for the hosts.

Patriots lost their first 16 games of the season – including a couple of BBL Cup defeats against Lions – but went into the game having won back-to-back games and produced a fighting performance before London collected their fifth league win of the season to move up to seventh place in the table.

Lions started strongly and Dirk Williams’ triple followed by his lay-up saw the visitors take a 7-2 lead, but the hosts fought back and treys from Robinson and Williams kept them in touch before Washburn’s lay-up sent the visitors into the first break 23-22 ahead.

After Josephs has converted an and-one to open the second period, Robinson tied the score at 25, and there  was little to choose between the teams as Cugini, Reese and Washburn all scored from the Land of Plenty before triples Williams and Washburn saw Lions go into the locker room with a 52-48 lead.

The home side started the second half well, but Cugini’s three and a Kelley dunk Lions within a point after four minutes and Reese’s trey sparked a strong finish to the third period for the hosts as Cugini, Robinson, Reese and Washburn all hit long range efforts to give Lions a 79-71 lead at the final break.

Robinson made it a ten-point game with the opening score of the fourth period and Lions led throughout Cugini and Williams sunk triples. Kelley had another big dunk to make it an 89-80 game with 6:24 on the clock but Josephs reduced the lead to four with four minutes remaining.

But back-to-back triples from Williams and Washburn effective ended the game at 99-88 with 2:46 left, and Reese brought up the century mark as Lions closed out the victory.

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