Leicester Riders make it six straight wins as Pierre Hampton leads them back to the summit of the BBL Championship table.
Leicester Riders 95 (22,43,66) (Hampton 18, Bernardini 15, Walker 15)
Cheshire Phoenix 69 (14,27,52) (Eaves 29, Allen-Jordan 11, May-Thompson 10)
Leicester Riders charged back to the top of the BBL Championship table with a comprehensive95-69 defeat of Cheshire Phoenix at Leicester Arena, Pierre Hampton posting 18 points and nine rebounds as five Riders scored in double-figures.
Leicester came into the game on the back of five consecutive wins, while Phoenix had Robbie Peers back at the helm after a run of six defeats in their last eight league games, leaving them outside of the play-off places.
And it was a tough night for Cheshire, as they struggled to get their offence going against the league’s second best defence, shooting just 27% through the first fifteen minutes as Frank Eaves had 14 of the visitors’ 17 points up to that point.
Riders, meanwhile, established an early double-digit lead with Tyler Bernardini hitting 11 points including a pair of triples – the first one putting them up 19-9 – and a lay-up on the fast break that made the score 31-17 in the second quarter.
Leicester’s advantage reached twenty when they held Cheshire scoreless for four minutes and Conner Washington pushed the lead out to 39-19, capping a run of eight unanswered points.
Peers had an influence over the half time break, and Cheshire had one last go at getting back into the game when a 9-0 run got them back to 62-50, former Rider Jamall Anderson scoring four.
But Andy Thomson halted that run in its tracks with two scores late in the third quarter, and the game was settled when Hampton hit two triples in a row and Bernardini added another in little more than a minute and a half in the fourth, before the lead peaked at the final score.