A STACKED and powerful Leicester Riders squad put Worcester Wolves to the sword in a 88-54 ruthless thumping.
Wolves had their first taste of defeat on Saturday (September 26) in the East Midlands to one of the country’s long-established contenders for honours. Defeat dropped Wolves to fifth place in the British Basketball League.
Riders sped into a double-digit lead after only five minutes had elapsed and kept their foot on the gas to double Worcester’s points total before half-time, aggressively maintaining their domination until the final scoreline.
Fifteen seconds into the contest, former Leicester stalwart Jay Couisnard began the scoring, but this would prove to be the one and only moment that Worcester were in contention as guard Neil Watson sliced through stationary Wolves’ defenders to level matters, and forward Trayvonn Wright rattled home seven quick points to set the pattern for the rest of the long evening.
Leicester coach Rob Paternostro was soon able to sit down a couple of his starting five, only to then introduce Great Britain internationals Andrew Sullivan and Flo Larkai, as the embarrassment continued.
A 9-26 first-quarter deficit had ballooned out to 19-39 midway through the second period and by the time the shell-shocked Wolves’ team trooped into the locker rooms trailing 29-50, only Perris Blackwell had registered double-figure scoring.
Leicester’s onslaught showed no mercy in the remaining quarters as Wright entertained the capacity crowd by powering the length of the court for a ferocious slam that finally ended Wolves’ misery.
Assistant coach Alex Radu said: “We didn’t compete, especially at the defensive end. Leicester shot the ball extremely well and we had no answer for their guard Neil Watson.
“We’ll need to address what has taken place this weekend. We didn’t finish off Bristol when we should have and then we simply couldn’t stay with Leicester.”
Wolves had left a packed University of Worcester Arena crowd breathless on Friday evening (September 25) after clinching a dramatic 78-76 victory over a determined Bristol Flyers.
With less than a minute left the match was tied at 73-73, before Bristol guard Cardell McFarland stunned home supporters by floating home a long-range effort, but Wolves’ star man Jay Couisnard and forward Pavol Losonsky were similarly on target to raise the roof.
It will be a couple of weeks before Wolves are back in action, with a trip to Manchester Giants on Sunday, October 11, before a home game on Friday, October 16 against Glasgow Rocks.