LONG scoreless spells eventually led Worcester Wolves to succumb to a 75-57 defeat against Leicester Riders, leaders of the British Basketball League, at the University of Worcester Arena.
A see-saw first half had Wolves initially leading 21-10, but Riders taking the box seat 40-34 by the interval.
Worcester tied matters up three minutes after half-time but this was to be their zenith as their offense dried up and Leicester capitalised on a spate of careless ball-handling.
Lamarr Kimble led the Wolves scorers on just a dozen points, closely followed by Elijah Burns and Mike Parks who notched 11 and 10 points respectively.
The match began with the hosts having the best of the inside exchanges. Parks muscled past his defender and accepted a hand-off from Jordan Williams for an early 12-4 advantage.
Worcester’s lead maximised when Williams created space to score over England International forward Jamell Anderson.
Consecutive three-pointers edged Leicester into their first lead of the match at 25-23. The visitors’ momentum was slowed in the last minute of the half when Josh McSwiggan swatted away an attack ahead of Maarten Bouwknecht sinking a triple.
A burst of activity from Kimble and Williams connecting as he fell to the floor for a three-point play levelled the evening, before Leicester once more ignited.
Now 55-46 ahead entering the final quarter, Riders were able to gallop into the distance when forcing eight turnovers in only a five minute spell. Wolves also enduring nearly ten minutes without being able to supply any points from the field left no doubt about the night’s victors.
“Credit to Leicester,” said Worcester coach Matt Newby. “It got very messy for us with all those turnovers at the start of the fourth quarter.
“When Leicester raised their level of intensity we couldn’t match them. They went up a couple of gears, made it hard for our players to find any advantage and blew the game open.”
Wolves take to the court again at the University of Worcester Arena tonight (Friday) against Cheshire Phoenix. The match tips off at 7pm and will be streamed live at www.youtube.com/channel/UCSbbfBOzsPtXMFJCZ_uqOEw
“We’re in amongst a bunch of teams jostling for playoff-positioning,” added Newby. “Friday will be huge in deciding who gets the season head-to-head record between us and Cheshire.”