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Worcester Wolves 93 Leicester Riders 71
6:38pm Sunday 15th April 2012 in Worcester Wolves
WORCESTER Wolves recorded a commanding victory over British Basketball League top-four rivals Leicester Riders.
An initially tight contest was broken apart by a 26-10 third-quarter surge from the hosts.
Richie Gordon top-scored for Wolves with 24 points, followed by Tommy Freeman with 17, while Andrew Sullivan led the Leicester scorers with 15 points.
Worcester opened the game in confident mood as a neat lay-up from Carlos Fernandez was followed by a Freeman assist to Gordon for a powerful throw down. A moment later, the play was repeated for a 6-0 lead.
A Gordon steal and conversion and an Arnas Kazlauskas triple took the game to 11-5 three minutes in before Freeman opened his account with six points for a 21-13 lead with two minutes remaining.
Gordon took his first-quarter tally to an impressive 14 points when landing the last couple of Wolves baskets, helping his side to a 25-18 advantage.
Ex-Worcester centre Barry Lamble brought the Riders back to 25-20, but this was to be the closest they would get.
Gordon continued his dominance around the Leicester basket to rack up a further 10 points and was joined in the scoring by seven quick points from England international David Watts.
Great Britain captain Sullivan was the only visiting player to provide any significant response in a half that ended with the Wolves 48-35 ahead.
There was an initial blow for the hosts after the break when Gordon picked up three fouls in as many minutes and was forced to take a seat on the bench.
However, Lithuanian Alex Zimnickas stepped up to help maintain the barrier to the Riders’ attackers.
At the same time as the visitors were misfiring, Worcester guard Sherrad Prezzie-Blue came to the fore, floating home a couple of long-range scores to put his side 58-40 ahead midway through the period.
Triples from Watts and Freeman increased that to 64-40 before another from Prezzie-Blue.
A final period deficit of 74-45 was swiftly worsened when Worcester captain Callum Jones intercepted a pass to re-start play and dunked the ball home.
Riders rallied to 82-66 with four minutes left, thanks to forward Yorick Williams.
As the game wound down to the inevitable Wolves victory, young rookie forward Courtney Van Beest hit a couple of scores.