Basketball: Leopards left to rue poor quarter in Derby defeat
PUBLISHED: 08:52 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:52 28 February 2020
Leopards were left to rue a poor second period in their 88-75 home loss to Derby Trailblazers on Saturday.
Thomas Baker's side outscored the visitors by a point across the other quarters, but it was little consolation as they remain joint bottom of National League Division One.
Orlan Jackman led the scoring with a 26-point, 14 rebound double-double as Prince Lartey added 13 points, five steals and three assists, Elvisi Dusha and Os Gaizauskas finished with 11 points each on difficult nights and Toby Gastaldi-Davis had eight points.
Johde Campble and Malcolm Smith led a balanced Derby offence with 17 points each as the latter added six rebounds, while Sergio Gomez scored 16 points and Trey Wifford 10 points and seven boards.
Leopards started well with scores from Jackman and Dusha giving them the lead before Gomez got Derby off the mark with five straight points.
Three-point plays from Gaizauskas and Dusha gave Leopards a five-point lead before five straight Lartey points gave them their biggest lead of the game at 19-13, only for Jake Wesselingh to hit a trey before Smith beat the buzzer to cut the lead to a point at the first break.
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Blake Bowman drained a trey to put the Blazers ahead before Jackman tied it at 21-21 but that was as good as it got for the hosts as four straight Bowman points sparked a 9-0 run that gave Derby a lead they would not lose.
Jackman kept Leopards in touch but another 9-0 run stretched the lead to 41-25 with three minutes of the first half remaining.
Gastaldi-Davis broke the run with a triple and added a three-point play, but Leopards never got the lead into single digits in the rest of the half as Smith's late shot made it 52-39.
Gaizauskas drained a three to open the second half and make it a 10-point game, but Derby went on a 12-1 run to lead 64-43, before a pair of Lartey triples and one from Dusha cut the lead to 10.
Gomez ended the period with a three-pointer to make it 72-60 but a Dusha triple made it a nine-point game with seven minutes left before Derby hit eight unanswered points and kept their lead in double digits.
Leopards visit Reading Rockets on Sunday, having lost to them in pre-season, league and cup action so far this term.
Last season saw them beat a side they have faced more than any other on all four occasions they met, with two league wins and home victory in the National Trophy by double digits.
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