Heat make it three out of three
28 February 2011
The Heat completed an excellent five days by making it three wins out of three as they overcame the visiting Leicester Riders at the Surrey Sports Park on Sunday afternoon. In a tight game, the Heat came out victorious, 88-85, as they stayed ahead of the Riders in the closing minutes of the game. In a see-saw fourth quarter, the Heat opened up their largest lead of the game, 73-66, on the opening play of the quarter, a Tayo Ogedengbe three-pointer.
The Heat maintained the lead, but with the score on 80-74, the Riders hit back and a 7-0 run gave them the lead, 81-80, as time wound down. However, as they had in their last two wins, the Heat kept their composure, going back ahead, 83-81, only for JR Blount to tie the game from the line, 83-83. Martelle McLemore was then fouled and could only make one of two from the line, giving the Heat a slender one point lead, 84-83. Mike Martin scored to make it 86-83 to the Heat and then added another free-throw with 20 seconds to go as the Heat shut out the Riders.
Finally Blount managed to find the basket for the Riders with seven seconds on the clock to make it 87-85 to the Heat. Having to foul to stop the clock, the Riders put Julius Joseph on the line and he made one of two to leave the Heat three ahead at 88-85. With four seconds left, the Riders had a chance to tie the game with a three, but the Heat held firm for an impressive 88-85 win.
The Heat were led by Martelle McLemore's 18 points, but it was a combined team performance that won the game for the Heat. Carlos Medlock had 15 points and five assists while Julius Joseph added 11 points. The Heat's big men all played well, with Tomas Janusauskas notching 14 points and nine rebounds, while Mike Martin had a monster game on the boards with 14 rebounds and nine points, both men just missing out on double-doubles. Ralph Hegamin added 10 points and seven rebounds.
For the Riders, JR Blount had 19 points and Ryan Zamroz added 17, both men being kept in check by the Heat's improved defence. James Whyte also had 17 points, while Lataryl Williams added 11 points and nine rebounds, the Heat outrebounding the Riders, 43-40.
A full match report is now available here.
The win, coupled with the two previous wins during the week, lifted the Heat clear into sixth place in the BBL Championship table with 13-11 record ahead of the Riders and the Plymouth Raiders, both of whom have 12-11 records but with a game in hand on the Heat. The focus now moves to the Trophy final on Saturday at the O2 arena. If you haven't already got your tickets, you can buy them by visiting the Heat website.