A WORCESTER Wolves side struggling to find any consistency were outplayed at Leicester Riders.
The game began well for Wolves as big man Arturas Masiulis quickly got into his stride with an early six points.
Midway through the opening quarter, young forward Daniel Belgrave continued his recent good shooting form with a long-distance score and the teams were level at 11-11.
However, Leicester’s Jay Couisnard caught fire towards the end of the period, hitting a couple of triples to take his team ahead at 24-16.
Baskets from Wolves’ forwards Carlos Fernandez and Stan Ocitti were followed by a rare outside score from Masiulis, closing matters to 27-23 after three minutes of the second quarter.
After an exchange of baskets from Worcester point guard Alex Owumi and his Leicester counterpart Zaire Taylor, the Worcester offence suddenly dried up.
It was to be nearly another four minutes before Owumi once more troubled the scoreboard, while Leicester had little trouble finding their mark.
Five more Leicester three-pointers, including a couple from the captain of Great Britain’s Olympic squad Andrew Sullivan, helped to establish a decisive 50-35 half-time lead for the hosts.
The evening only got worse for Wolves when, a few minutes into the second-half, Owumi was awarded a technical foul for disputing a refereeing decision.
With Owumi forced to spend time on the sidelines, it was left to Fernandez to take over point guard duties.
A 56-39 deficit soon accelerated to 68-45 by the end of the third period as Riders took advantage of the disruption to their visitors’ structure.
With a comfortable advantage secured, Leicester used the last 10 minutes of the evening to give court time to several of their bench players, including ex-Worcester centre Barry Lamble.
Lamble was the game’s leading rebounder with 10 boards, while Wolves’ only late scoring resistance came from Masiulis who bagged seven fourth-quarter points.Wolves head coach Paul James was clearly disappointed with his team’s performance.
He said: “It was a horrible defeat. We didn’t show up in the first-half while they shot the lights out, making eight out of 10 three-pointers. We needed a few more players to step up and that just didn’t happen.”
Masiulis led the Wolves scorers with 18 points followed by Owumi with 14.
Slovakian forward Pavol Losonsky top-scored for Leicester with 22, supported by Couisnard with 19.
Wolves look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Mersey Tigers on Friday before facing Sheffield Sharks at the University of Worcester on Saturday.