BBL: Raiders complete BBL Cup semi-final line-up
Last Updated: 03/11/12 9:51pm
Plymouth Raiders star Paul Williams
The UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders became the fourth and final team into the BBL Cup semi-finals after securing their berth with a 74-79 win at the Surrey Heat on Saturday night.
The Raiders - last year's losing BBL Cup finalists - were led by Jeremy Bell's 28 points and a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds from Colin O'Reilly.
The hosts were led by 20 points and eight assists from Chavis Holmes. The win avenged the Raiders' home defeat at the hands of the Heat in the BBL Championship six days ago and made it five wins in six, and two in consecutive nights, for the South West side.
The Raiders - who led for much of the game, which was tight throughout - had the better of the early exchanges, with big man Matt Schneck enjoying a good start with 5 early points that put the visitors up 5-9 after three and a half minutes.
The Heat narrowed the gap to 10-11 on Julius Joseph's three-pointer, and they took their first lead of the game when Frank Holmes scored soon after.
He went on to score 6 points in a row in what became a 9-2 run as the Heat led 16-13 with seven minutes played. A number of lead changes then ensued, as Jeremy Bell's triple put the Raiders back in front; they retained that edge at 19-22 by the end of the first quarter as Michael Ojo's buzzer-beating three-pointer broke a tie.
The visitors pushed a little further ahead with the only score of the opening two and a half minutes of the second stanza, and they led for much of the period.
The Heat did tie the game at 24 on Martelle McLemore's three-pointer, although the guard left the game with an ankle injury soon after, and they fell further behind following an 11-4 spell for the Raiders that included four each for Bell and Drew Lasker, and a triple from Colin O'Reilly that made the score 28-35.
That lead reached 31-40 on another O'Reilly triple heading into the last two minutes of the half, but the hosts recovered with the last five points, all from Albert Margai.
The Heat carried that momentum into the second half as they soon tied the game at 43 with a 7-3 opening in which Chavis Holmes (5) and Frank Holmes shared all the points; that was a 12-3 run over the half time break as the Raiders suffered a three and a half minute scoreless spell.
It would take another few minutes for the Heat to overturn their visitors' lead, at 49-47 on another Chavis Holmes score. The lead reached 56-52, but that would be as good as it got for the Heat. The Raiders regained their footing and rattled off the last seven points of the third period to snatch the lead back at 56-59 on Bell's three-pointer.
And they pushed on in the fourth quarter, scoring the first six points to force the hosts into a timeout.
The Heat rallied for a couple of late assaults, getting it back to 66-69 with four minutes to play; they might have been deflated by another O'Reilly triple that made the score 66-72 entering the final three minutes, but responded with a 6-2 tear, Chavis Holmes scoring four, to make it a one possession game at 72-74 heading into the final minute.
But the Raiders remained resolute to see the game out, Bell making 2/2 at the free-throw line to give them a cushion that was protected by Drew Lasker's basket and Javarris Barnett's free-throw.