Basketball: Leicester Riders closing in on 12-month unbeaten home record
Leicester Riders moved a step closer to recording a calendar year unbeaten at home with a professional 84-54 victory over struggling Mersey Tigers on Saturday.
Riders have not lost in front of their own fans since February 25 last year and are now within just a couple of weeks of registering a year's worth of wins.
They currently have two home games scheduled against Sheffield and Manchester this month, although following Friday's trophy win at Surrey, there is now a semi-final match to be squeezed in before they can reach the landmark.
Win number 21 in that streak was one of their more straightforward efforts in the last 11 months with a shock defeat never looking likely at the John Sandford Centre.
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Mersey, who came close to their first win of the season at London Lions on Friday night, did compete hard, but they were no match in terms of quality for Riders.
Jay Couisnard picked up where he hadd left off in the BBL Trophy quarter-final win on Friday night, bagging two three-pointers and a three-point play to score Leicester's first nine points.
Riders' ball movement was impressive and that allowed them to find holes in the Tigers' defence as well as open shots.
Early in the second quarter, the lead had moved into double-figures for the first time at 29-16.
The Tigers responded with a spell of seven consecutive points to narrow the gap to only six points, but from the mid-point of the period, Riders ran away with the game.
Leicester scored the last 15 points of the first half, holding the Tigers scoreless for more than six minutes by which time they were 51-25 ahead early in the third quarter.
Riders were well into their bench by that stage as everyone got some decent playing time and youngster Josh McSwiggan got his first-ever basket for the senior team to give Leicester a 30-point lead.
In the fourth quarter led by some impressive hustle and energy plays from Connor Washington, Riders continued to dominate, although Tigers did narrow the gap.
Another young prospect, Alex Angelakos, grabbed an offensive rebound and scored his first-ever BBL points right on the final buzzer.
This ensured that for the first time this season Riders had all 12 players on the scoresheet in the same game.
Riders: Couisnard 18, Sullivan 14, Rowe 10, Lamble 9, Calvo 7, Taylor 7, Losonsky 7, Williams 4, Washington 3, Angelakos 2, McSwiggan 2, Anderson 1.
Tigers: McGinn 14, Lockett 10, Wait 10, Hulsen 7, Hudson 5, Calvo 4, Bigley 4, Ebiogbe, Allerston, Gallagher.