MK LIONS are one of the British Basketball League’s toughest teams to beat at home, but the club’s away woes continued on Wednesday night with a 92-76 defeat to Plymouth Raiders.
Mike New’s men made the long trip to Devon to face a Raiders side they will also meet in a two-legged BBL Trophy semi final early next year, but returned home with their third Championship defeat on the road already this season.
Lions have certainly been putting in the miles having already visited and lost to Glasgow Rocks and Newcastle Eagles. They certainly ran Raiders close in the opening quarter and in the third at the Plymouth Pavilions, but then it was a case of deja vu as the hosts went on to take control and pick up the win in their opening league game.
Lions return to the comforts of home with a quick fire double-header against Rocks and Worcester Wolves later this month, but they will do so sat no higher than ninth place in the Championship table with only their Lions Arena victory over Guildford Heat to show for their efforts.
Lehmon Colbert led the Plymouth offence with 25 points and received excellent support from reigning MVP Jeremy Bell on 21 points and Michael Ojo with 17.
The hosts led for the majority of the match and took a six point lead into the final quarter. Lions trimmed the gap to three but Gavin Love refocused his team and they ended the match on a 19-6 run to seal the victory.
Raiders began well to open up a 6-0 lead, but led by four points from Demarius Bolds, Lions scored the next eight points.
A Colbert three gave Raiders their six point lead again at 16-10 before a 9-2 Lions burst put the visitors ahead. However, two Bell free throws were the final points of the quarter to see Plymouth take a 20-19 advantage into the second quarter.
An Anthony Rowe two for Raiders started off a 14-7 run to take the score to 34-26, and then two Ojo threes gave Plymouth a healthy half time lead. The first made the margin a double-digit one at 39-28 and the second, on the buzzer, put the home team up by 13 at 49-36.
Lions had their best spell of the match at the start of the third quarter though as a Howard Crawford two ended a superb 22-8 run which gave the visitors a 57-58 lead.
However, Raiders regained their poise and finished the period with a 12-4 burst of their own to take a 69-63 advantage into the final stanza, going on to win 92-76.