Basketball: Late points rush flatters Leicester

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The Independent Online
IT SOUNDS close, but even die-hard Leicester City Riders fans who watched the 88-86 Budweiser League defeat against London Towers on Saturday night know their scoreline flatters their players.

Riders scored the last eight points inside the final 30 seconds. JaRon Boone and Gene Waldron, typically, hit three-pointers too late to have any effect, when the Towers defence allowed Billy Singleton an uncontested lay-up as the game ended.

Last season the Towers failed to win a title for the first time in three years and sacked their coach, Kevin Cadle, but under the Italian Lino Frattin, they are finding it just as hard to reclaim the higher ground.

Out of the Cup and only sixth in the league, the play-offs and League trophy offer their only hope of silverware. "This sums up our season," the general manager, Rick Taylor, said, after watching his inconsistent squad almost squander a 14-point lead before winning the game.

A virtually immaculate first half from Danny Lewis, who scored four out of five three-pointers and all six free-throws, built a 48-34 half-time lead. Then London stopped playing as their former team-mate Karl Brown inspired a 24-10 Riders' run to tie at 58-58.

But Riders' offense lost its fluency, leaving Drew Barrett and Marc Hawley to waste possession at the top of the key and Lewis to profit by setting up the match winning 12-2 run.

Edinburgh Rocks won their second League game of the season on Ted Berry's shot on the buzzer for a 73-72 win over Chester Jets.

Derby Storm severely dented Manchester Giants' progress to the League trophy quarter- finals by beating them 100-79 in a group game.