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Leopards look for perfect 10

PUBLISHED: 17:02 20 March 2014

Action from Leopards clash with Worthing Thunder (pic: Paul Phillips)

Action from Leopards clash with Worthing Thunder (pic: Paul Phillips)

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In-form Big Cats host Leeds

Leopards will look for a tenth win in 11 games when Leeds Carnegie visit the Brentwood Centre on Sunday (4pm).

The Big Cats are up to second spot in EBL Division One after their 76-70 victory against Worthing Thunder and are the only team who can prevent Reading Rockets retaining the title.

The game will be something of a revenge mission for Robert Youngblood and his team as a controversial end to their game against Carnegie in January saw them lose 64-61 with both Youngblood and his assistant Roger Malpass subsequently banned for comments made to the referee.

Carnegie arrive at the Brentwood Centre in seventh place with an 11-9 record and look a good bet for the play-offs.

And Youngblood will hope his team close out the game stronger than in Sunday’s win against Thunder.

The Big Cats led by 15 with just under four minutes left before Thunder rattled off 10 straight points to make it 71-66 with a minute to go.

The home side eventually wrapped up the win from the foul line, having overcome a slow start to lead 23-13 going into the first break.

Although Thunder made it a one-point game with four-second period minutes gone an 8-0 run started and capped by Kris Clark baskets helped the home side lead 40-31 at half-time.

A Clark basket with a minute of the third period left extended that lead to 12 before Thunder imploded, with Brendan Okoronkwo being called for an intentional foul on Carl Josey, and Okoronkwo and Bud Johnson picking up technical fouls.

Josey sunk all six free-throws to send Leopards into the final break 63-45 up, and although Thunder gave the home side a late scare, they held on for their 16th league win of the campaign.

Clark led the way with 21 points, while Howard Crawford added 20 points and seven rebounds.

Josey was perfect in his nine visits to the foul line to finish with 17 points and six rebounds.


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