Cheshire Phoenix 88 – 94 Leicester Riders
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix dropped to 13-15 on the season after their loss against the Leicester Riders.
The Nix had all five starters in double digit scoring but the visitors looked like a different team than the one they faced just nine days ago. Leicester had a brilliant shooting night as the duo of JR Holder and Conner Washington combined for 39 points on just 23 shots.
The Riders sunk a couple of early three-pointers to start off the game, but the Nix responded with a 9-2 run which included two powerful dunks from Jalen Hayes and C.J Gettys. Phoenix’s marksman Momcilo Latinovic connected on two shots from beyond the arc in the opening 10 minutes. Jamell Anderson had a very good quarter for the visitors, he scored 10 points on 4-6 FG. The Nix finished the first period of play up 24-22 on the Riders.
The teams continued to battle at high intensity in the second quarter. Both teams moved the ball very well as they combined for 24 assists after the first 20 minutes of play. The Riders shot brilliantly from the three-point line, they made nine out of 15 shots in the first half. Leicester gained the lead in the second quarter but Latinovic’s conversion of a late and-one play allowed the Nix to go into the second half up 50-49.
The Nix started the second half slowly, they racked up just seven points half-way through the third quarter. Conner Washington set the tone for the Riders as he splashed home a bunch of three-pointers. The visitors played good basketball on both ends of the floor as they scored at will and allowed the Nix no space on the offensive end. They looked like they had secured a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter but an incredible last-second shot by Daniel Norl from inside his own half trimmed Leicester’s lead to seven.
Phoenix had a much better fourth quarter as they battled well and shared the ball like they did in the first half. Hayes and Allen-Jordan made some unbelievable shots down the stretch but Leicester’s lead proved too large to overcome. The Riders missed five free throws in the last act of the game, but the Nix were unable to capitalize. The visitors triumphed on the night, 94-88.
Key Team Stat: 53% FG. The Nix shot well yet again against the Riders, however their efforts were bettered by the visitors this time round as they made 61% of their shots from the floor.
The Cheshire Phoenix will look to bounce back from the defeat when they’ll face the Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks at the Emirates Arena on the 14th April.