Leeds Carnegie v Leicester Warriors // 22nd January 2012
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Leeds Carnegie nearly pulled of a sensational comeback to snatch victory from Leicester Riders, but fell just short, losing the game 58-55.
Carnegie started the quarter in impressive form, running out to 16-8 lead behind 7 points from Henry Wilkins in the first six minutes of play. A charge from the Riders pulled them to within three points, before a Reiss Harwood buzzer beater ended the quarter with Carnegie on top 20-15.
The second quarter saw Leicester get back into the game and even take the lead, before a Jack Stannard three tied the game, sending both teams into the half with 31 point on the board.
The game got physical in the third quarter and resulted in Henry Wilkins getting his nose broken after diving for a loose ball. He would miss the rest of the game, proving to be a huge blow for Leeds. Despite a strong rebounding performance from Armand Anebo (13 rebounds), Leicester would take advantage of the injury, and would take the lead out to as much as ten points. The third quarter ended 53-45.
With a rally call from the team to play defence, the team would do exactly that. Limiting the Riders to just one point in six minutes of play, however Carnegie were struggling to score also. With Leicester still holding an 8 point lead with less than two minutes, Coach Newby would call a timeout. They knew they could still win the game and this is where their defence would shine. The whole team completely shut down Leicester’s offence with stifling defence including a massive charge taken by team captain Sean Clifford. On the other end, David Ajumobi contributed with a huge three point play, followed by an off balance lay up and a free throw from Clifford, bringing the Carnegie team within two points with 40 seconds remaining on the clock. The lead would stretch out to three after a free throw. Riders would miss five of their last six free-throws with Leeds stopping the clock to give them an opportunity to tie the game and send it to overtime. However Leeds would fail to score and the game ended 58-55 in favour of Leicester.
Carnegie Top Scorers: Ajumobi (21), Wilkins (11), Anebo (6)
Riders Top Scorers: Hopkins (20), Wells (7), Sentance (7)