Leicester and Newcastle are still locked in two-way combat for the British Basketball League title after Riders edged out Glasgow 76-72 on Sunday afternoon after the Eagles dumped Surrey.
Donald Robinson had 18 points for Glasgow who produced an early 13-4 run which eventually saw them lead by as much as 38-25 midway through the second quarter. However Leicester closed the deficit to five at half-time and a burst of nine unanswered points in the third period put their hosts under immense pressure.
In a nervous conclusion, a 10-3 surge in the fourth saw the Riders edge in front and although two free throws from Gareth Murray brought the Rocks within a single point with 22 seconds left, the Riders – paced by 22 from Pavol Losonsky – sealed victory from the foul line.
“We talked a lot all week about not letting them get second chance opportunities because they’re so good that they’ll take them,” said Glasgow coach Sterling Davis, whose side stay third in the table. “There were just a few times at the end where they got rebounds and took advantage and that really cost us.”
Charles Smith had 33 points and 10 rebounds as the reigning champions Newcastle coasted past Surrey 90-78 to stay two points behind Leicester.
After leading 44-38 at half-time, Newcastle were put under pressure as back-to-back three-pointers from Travis Holmes and Caylin Raftopoulos brought the home side to within two points with eight minutes left in the fourth.
But a 10-2 burst helped the Eagles extend their lead out to 81-67 with a 15-3 run and they held on.
Frank Holmes hit 20 points and 12 boards for Surrey but his side paid for shooting just 6/15 from the foul line.
Alex Owumi had 24 points but Worcester Wolves needed a late fightback to edge out Durham Wildcats 83-79.
24 points from Alex Owumi was the leading mark for the Wolves in the victory, while Mike Baldarelli led the home side with 23.
With the Wolves leading 68-56 with six minutes left, the home side began to claw their way back into the game as three-pointers from Brad Guinane cut the gap to 76-73 with 1:02 left.
That was as close as the Wildcats would get however as the Wolves tightened the screw.
A 31-point haul from Adrien Sturt gave the crowd plenty to cheer about as London Lions beat Manchester Giants 81-64 to maintain their grip on seventh position in the BBL Championship table.
Sharks edge towards Trophy spot
In the 1st leg of the BBL Trophy semi-final, Cheshire Phoenix lost 74-60 to Sheffield Sharks to leave themselves with a mountain to climb.
After a close first half which saw the Sharks lead 33-32, the visitors took control of the contest as they opened the third quarter with a 12-2 run, increasing their cushion despite a game-high 22 points from Chez Marks.
The second leg will take place on Friday evening at the EIS, Sheffield with the winner sealing a place in the Final at the Emirates Arena next month.
Plymouth 104 Durham 100, Manchester Giants 94 Cheshire Phoenix 78, Worcester Wolves 99 Surrey Heat 81, Mersey Tigers 58 London Lions 78
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