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Basketball: Leopards win boosts Baker

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 September 2017

Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players

Essex Leopards coach Tom Baker talks to his players

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Levett Essex Leopards coach Thomas Baker was a happy man after seeing his side beat Ipswich 87-58.

And with Anglia Ruskin University up next at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday, Baker is looking for more improvements.

He said: “It was a much improved performance from the guys on Saturday against a very different looking Ipswich team.

“I’m pleased the players handled what could have been a tricky away fixture in such a professional manner.

“For the most part we played exactly the way we needed to and got the rewards for it, finding our shots and attacking the basket at will, as well as having some impressive defensive play phases also.

“We have identified areas where we still need to improve, however I was pleased with the reaction from the players after last week’s result against Nottingham.

“One more cup fixture against Anglia Ruskin next weekend and then we are into the league with the game against Westminster. We will continue to improve throughout the season but Saturday’s result showed we are starting to come together.”

With American guard AJ Roberts waiting for clearance, Dougie Bennett captained the Big Cats at Ipswich and opened the scoring with a triple in a tight first quarter.

The Big Cats led 10-4 early on, but the Suffolk side fought back to lead 19-16 at the break.

Bennett, who led all scorers with 24 points, hit successive three-pointers to open the second period as Leopards started with a 12-1 run and never looked back.

The visitors led 38-26 at half-time, but point guard Kevin Moyo – who picked up an unsportsmanlike foul while being screened by Ipswich’s centre -– was ejected after a technical foul for flopping.

While Leopards initially struggled after Moyo’s ejection, they closed the quarter with a 19-10 run to lead 60-39.

Young Jordan George sank three straight treys to wrap things up and Leopards are now hoping Ipswich pull of an upset at Nottingham on Saturday, which would send them through to the Patrons Cup semi-finals.

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