Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders completed the semi-final line-up of the BBL Cup thanks to an impressive 74-95 victory over the Cheshire Jets at the Northgate Arena on Sunday evening.
The Riders victory means that they will play the Newcastle Eagles in their two-legged match-up to see who will make it to the Final at the NIA, Birmingham in January.
The game itself started fairly evenly with both sides traded baskets in the early going, but it was the visitors who took the first advantage thanks to a 10-3 run to take the score out to 14-21. However the Jets came storming right back into the game with an immediate 10-3 response of their own to end the first quarter tied at 24-24.
The Riders began the second quarter in the ascendancy, but back-to-back three-pointers from Bill Cole and Colin O’Reilly saw the Jets remain in touch as they trailed by a single point at 32-33. The visitors responded by stepping up their intensity at both ends of the floor and broke the game open thanks to a 17-4 finish to the first half, including eight points from Cameron Rundles, to send them into the locker rooms leading 38-52 at the interval.
In the second half, the Riders continued to remain in control of the contest as a 9-2 burst increased their lead to 20 points at 43-63, but the Jets were not going to make it easy for the visitors as they enjoyed a 10-2 tear of their own towards the end of the third quarter to trim the deficit back to 14 points at 57-71.
The final period saw the Jets try valiantly to get themselves back into the contest, but an Adam Brown basket with 3:30 remaining bought the score back to 67-82 and they were to get no closer in the game as the Riders secured the victory thanks to an 11-2 run to give them the biggest lead of the contest at 69-93 with 1:15 left and they held onto secure the semi-final date with the Eagles.
Rundles led the Riders in scoring with 24 points, ably assisted by Andrew Sullivan with 19 points personal, while Brown hit a team-high 24 points for the Jets in the defeat.