The Plymouth Raiders were beaten in sound fashion Sunday, by the Glasgow Rocks 63-86.
After winning a thriller against the Sheffield Sharks last week, the Raiders looked to build momentum, but were undone by a poor defensive outing, which allowed the Rocks to secure their third victory over the Plymothians in a month.
Raiders team leading scorer on the evening, Neil Watson, (15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists) was quick to acknowledge his sides inability to stop the Rocks from scoring as the main contributor to the loss. He said: “We just didn’t play our basketball, we got away from what we did last week.
“I think when it came down to it, we didn’t execute, and really not on the offensive end, we just didn’t defend, you’ve got to be able to stop shots from going in, and we didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.”
Watson also believed going down by 11 at the half, played on the minds of the Raiders, as well as himself; “I think a lot of things run through your mind once you go down by a certain number of points, just like a lot of things don’t go through your mind when you’re up so many points, you can play more free when you’re up.
“When we’re down and we miss a shot, and they score a shot, then the next time you touch the ball you become doubtful, so I do think it played a part on us being down coming out of the half.”
Coming up against their near top of the table rivals, the Raiders didn’t seem to feel start struck, especially after losing to the visitors on multiple occasions in recent fixtures.
Indeed, it was the Raiders who were first to strike, and strike they did, putting up 5 points in the first minute from a Will Neighbour field goal, followed by a Jawad Adekoya jump shot.
The Rocks replied though, as the Raiders were caught napping early on a couple of occasions, allowing unobstructed field goal attempts.
The Rocks spent little time to shaking off early game rust, climbing the scoreboard and assuming the lead, which they were able to protect for the remainder of the afternoon.
The Raiders would be left hurting by poor field goal shots throughout out the game, netting only 33% of shots (24 of 72). On a few occasions, decision making was questionable, with Raiders deciding to take shots from well outside the circle, instead of working inside for vital two’s. In contrast, the Rocks enjoyed relative success from the outside with 49% accuracy.
The Rocks would go in at the half with a 11-point lead.
Like a thorn in the hosts side, Kieron Achara, enjoyed moving the ball around at speed together with landing over half of his field goal attempts on the evening. Even whilst marked in man-to-man coverage, Achara could put the ball exactly where he wanted it, leaving the Raiders demoralised.
After a quiet first half, Watson started in the second, and had an immediate impact on the game, scoring a three with his first possession. Watson would continue to hustle through the half both on paint and from outside, but any attempt to get close to the Rocks lead was cut short as the Raiders gave up too much going the other way.
Building on a strong outing last week, Kinu Rochford was again a dominant presence on both sides of the court, but his attacking style landed the forward fouled out in the dying minutes of the game.
Before the matchup, the Raiders felt their extended playing time with the Rocks to be advantageous, but the loss only added to sides poor seasonal performance.
Sunday’s loss further frustrated Watson who added: “It is, it’s also frustrating to lose so many games in a year, it’s something I’m not really used to, but it’s something I want to take on.
“It’s not something I’m trying to run away from either, it’s just something we’ve got to build through, everybody’s learning, from the coaches to the water guys, everybody’s learning and adjusting to each other.
“You’d think we’d be there by now, but we’re not, every group is different, every club is different, we’ve got our obstacles we’ve got to go through.”
The Raiders can now take a valuable week off to evaluate their loss before returning to action against the Worcester Wolves.
See post game interviews with Gavin Love and Eddie Matthew on Raiders TV.Game Stats & Highlights