The London Lions hosted the Leeds Force in what was expected to be a tough game for the visitors who are yet to win since September.
Despite facing an unbeaten Lions squad, Leeds stepped onto the court the better side in the first quarter, with guard Jack Isenbarger scoring multiple lay-ups early on.
The Lions quickly turned things around led by Alex Owumi who hit 19 of his 23 shots in the first-half, and guard Zaire Taylor, who used his great vision to stoke London’s fire.
The home side took a 46-31 lead going into the half after Leeds failed to protect the ball and succumbed to multiple turnovers.
Scoring at Will
In the third quarter, Owumi took a backseat and forward Rashad Hassan who had be in early foul trouble started to find space beneath the basket, scoring on at will in what was another dominant quarter.
Hassan finished with 22 points and 8 rebounds in a huge third and fourth quarter as Owumi and Hassan combined for 45 points on the night, proving to be too much for the travelling side.
Leeds valiantly probed at the lane to the hoop and attempted to get back in the game, but their efforts were ultimately in vain as the Lions continued to force turnovers and score on the break with Zaire Taylor, Kevin Moyo and Andre Lockhart pulling the strings in the backcourt, feeding the forwards.
Kai and Jamal Williams also provided the team with a strong defensive presence and important buckets down the stretch, alongside Joe Ikhinmwin who added 15 on the night. It was an all round domination by the Lions, who in the end, ran away with a 91-60 victory against a struggling Leeds Force side.
Alex Owumi, who finished the game as top scorer with 23, lauded his teammates ability to shoot the ball despite some early misses:
“We didn’t come out right off the gate, as we missed a couple of early shots but once we got going, we got going, and once we get hot, we’re hot! as we’ve got great shooters in every aspect and every corner, we’ve got a great point guard and we’ve just got to keep it rolling.”
After the victory, head coach Nigel Lloyd was pleased to pick up a win against a team that beat the Lions twice last campaign:
“It was a very good win for us against a team that last year beat us twice. So our aim was to make sure we try and a get that win which we did and then secondly it was to make sure we play the ball the right way, by picking up our defense as the game went on and then to get our guys clicking.”
With eight different scorers on the night, Lloyd believes his club has improved on sharing the ball and playing unselfish basketball:
“Overall, it was a great team effort for us and we accomplished most of our goals tonight. We are very unselfish this year, as the guys don’t care who scores, as long as that guy is playing and we are doing the best for our team. And that’s what is better for us compared to how we were in the past, they (players) are very coachable.”
The Lions now look ahead to their away encounter with the DBL Sharks Sheffield on Friday, with a view to extend this impressive win streak which has now stretched to six in the early stages of this exciting BBL season.
Ahead of the fixture, Coach Lloyd admits Sheffield will be a challenge with the inclusion of ex Lions player Zach Gachette possibly in the Sharks lineup:
“Sheffield are a tough team, very tough at home and they have one of our ex players in Zach Gachette so he’s going to be a key for them. It’s going to be a tough game but we’re confident and we’re going to play to the best of our ability, but if we can keep playing this style of basketball then we like our chances.”