Plymouth Raiders made it three wins from three games in December defeating Surrey Scorchers in a high scoring 115 – 100 win at Plymouth Pavilions on Friday night.
The first play of the game saw Devontavius Payne hit a three point shot for the Raiders before a Rashad Hassan steal and basket put Raiders up by five with a little over 30 seconds played. A further two from Hassan and Payne’s second three in the opening two minutes saw the home side hold a 10 – 5 lead. Former NBA second-round draft pick Ryan Richards kept the Scorchers in the game, hitting 13 of the Scorchers first 14 points half way through the first period with the Raiders holding a slim lead. As both teams rotated their benches, Surrey opened up a six point lead with three minutes remaining and held the lead 30 – 32 at the end of the opening ten minutes. Six points in the opening two minutes of the second from Josh Palmer gave the Raiders the lead, and they stretched the lead to 57 – 50 at the interval despite a further nine points from Richards who had 24 points to his name already.
Raiders continued to pile on the pressure in the second half with Hassan, Josh Wilcher and Donte Nicholas helping the side stretch the lead to 15 points thanks to an 18 – 10 run before both sides traded baskets with Raiders holding 87 – 71 lead with 10 minutes to play. Surrey reduced the gap to 11 after a minute of the final period but that was the closets they got as Wilcher, Hassan, and Nicholas continued to knock down the points with the Raiders running out 115 – 110 winners.
In a game of little defence, it was strong second and third periods from the Raiders where the outscored the visitors 57 – 39 that saw them get the win. Hassan led the scoring for the game with 31, making 15 of his 16 two point shots and also added 10 rebounds. Wilcher has 25 points and eight assists, whilst payer of the month contender Donte Nicholas narrowly missed out on a triple double with 19 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds. For the Scorchers Richards finished on 29, Atwood 20 and captain Ogedengbe had 18.
Raiders return to the Pavilions on Sunday, when they host Bristol Flyers, 15:00 tip, in the BBL Trophy hoping to make it a clean sweep of wins in December. Tickets are selling fast for the game and can be bought online from https://www.theticketstore.co.uk