The last game of the year at the Carnegie Sports Arena ended in defeat for Leeds Force as they were beaten by the Plymouth Raiders 87-104, writes ARIF AHMED.
It was frustrating loss for the Force as they showed periods of how devastating they can be in transition but failed to do it regularly enough. A theme of their season so far.
The Force put up impressive numbers with Rob Marsden coming away with 33 points and 13 rebounds for his double double.
But the weakness in defence proved costly as they shipped over 100 points for the second time this season. Leeds struggled to put any type of run on the board during in the first as they tried to keep up with the visitors.
Plymouth came out hard as they raced to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes. Buckets from Marsden and Eddie Matthew quickly made it a competitive game.
The score remained close as the first headed to its conclusion although Peter Hooley, of the Raiders, had other ideas.
His six unanswered points in the final minutes of the first started a run of 19-3 across quarters that put Plymouth firmly in command.
Combinations of bad passing and decision making in key areas of the court opened to door for easy Raiders points.
Leeds did put together runs of their own but nothing to the magnitude of their opponents as they ended the half 17 points behind.
The third couldn’t have started any worse for the Force as the Raiders hit four straight triples as they raced to a 29-point lead.
Leeds got themselves together late in the third with Rob Sandoval, Jermaine Sanders and Disraeli Lufadeju all sinking baskets from beyond the arc.
Two runs of seven and nine brought Plymouth’s lead down to 17 heading into the last.
A 13-4 run by the Force made it just a seven-point game with over half the quarter still to play, but a Plymouth timeout derailed their momentum.
The Raiders got their lead back to double figures as Force ran out of steam.