by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix snapped their 4-game losing streak after they obtained a double-digit victory against the Glasgow Rocks.
Ben Thomas’ men delivered a commanding performance on the road as they shot 46% from the floor and 40% from deep while restricting their opponents to just 41% from the floor and 30% from three-point land.
The Nix accumulated 13 steals as they forced their opponents into 19 turnovers on the night.
Kahron Ross led all scorers with 24 points (8-12 FG, 4-4 3PT), to which he also added eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals.
Jimbo Lull continued his brilliant run of form as he tallied a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double on 69% FG.
Christian Keeling showed glimpses of brilliance, however, his 16-point performance couldn’t prevent the Rocks from suffering their fifth loss in the regular season.
The game got off to a slow start as both sides misfired on their first few attempts before Lull finally connected on a turnaround jumper which gave Phoenix their first lead of the game at the 8:22 mark. The two sides found themselves level at 6 points apiece at the half-way mark of the low-scoring first quarter. Ross connected on his first three-pointer of the night at the 4:54 mark before a lay-up in transition by Mike McCall Jr. increased Phoenix’s gap to five with four minutes left in the first quarter. The lead widened to double-digits at the 2:50 mark thanks to a couple of baskets from McCall Jr. Cheshire failed to score in the last two minutes of the quarter but still went into the second up 16-8.
Jonny Bunyan drained a corner three to bring the deficit down to five at the start of the second quarter. Gareth Murray’s tip-in reduced Phoenix’s lead to three at the 9:03 mark, before Keeling leveled the score at 18-18 three minutes later. The Rocks gained their first lead of the contest at the mid-way point of the quarter after Boban Jacdonmi grabbed his own rebound and converted his second chance opportunity to put the Rocks into the ascendancy. Thomas’ side recovered brilliantly in the closing stages of the half, as they outscored their opponents 12-to-2 in the last three minutes and went into the locker room up 36-27.
The Nix pushed their lead to 12 in the opening two minutes of the second half though Lull and Ross, however, Murray’s men answered back through Keeling and Jacdonmi and brought the deficit down to just seven at the 6:25 mark. Julius Van Sauers’ make from the charity stripe reduced the gap to six at the half-way point before Ross knocked down a deep three-pointer at the 4:41 mark, which restored Cheshire’s original 9-point lead. Sehill Mouliom opened his account with a hook shot over Bunyan, which gave the Nix an 11-point cushion with just over two minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter. The Rocks outscored the visitors 8-to-5 in that time period and gave themselves a lifeline heading into the final quarter, as they trailed 44-52.
Ross opened the final frame with a make from three-point land which yet again extended Cheshire’s lead to double-digits. The two teams just exchanged baskets until Disraeli Lufadeju’s mid-range jumper pushed the advantage to 13 at the 6:42 mark. Keeling added his third triple and 16th point of the game but with less than five minutes to go, his personal efforts looked to be in vain as none of his teammates had managed to score in double-digits. The Nix took care of business in the closing minutes of the contest, as they executed well and obtained a 75-64 victory at the final buzzer.