London Lions 81 Leeds Force 91: Force show their mettle to pick up precious points in the Copper Box

Force marksman Jack Isenbarger. PIC: Simon Hall
Force marksman Jack Isenbarger. PIC: Simon Hall
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Leeds Force picked up a hugely important win in the Copper Box as they leave the capital with the points having beaten the London Lions 92-81, writes ARIF AHMED.

The Force reigned supreme beyond the arc shooting 72 per cent, sinking 16 triples. Jack Isenbarger led the way with eight triples on his way to a game high 34 points.

Force coach Matt Newby.

Force coach Matt Newby.

Eddie Matthew was the next top scorer for the Force with 23 points as he found the basket with five out of his six attempts.

The win keeps Leeds’ chances of the play-offs alive as they pulled off another surprise against a top-six side despite playing their second game of the weekend.

London took an early lead but Rob Sandoval went on a 7-0 run to level the game at 14-14 midway through the 1st.

Along with Isenbarger’s 11 points the Force ended the opening 10 minutes five points ahead with the score 23-28.

Force marksman Rob Sandoval.

Force marksman Rob Sandoval.

The Lions battled back in the 2nd as they went on an 8-0 run that helped them push into the lead.

Rashad Hassan put up 12 points in that quarter alone.

Armand Anebo thought he put his side in level at the halfway stage but a buzzer beater dunk from Hassan gave the hosts the lead at 49-47.

Leeds wrestled the lead back early in the 3rd and didn’t give away as they started to pull away as the Lions struggled to stop the Force beyond the arc.

In the last quarter Leeds cemented their lead which rose to as high as 15 as the American duo of Sandoval and Isenbarger ran the show.

London tried to make it a nervy ending for the Yorkshire side as Hassan put up five of a 6-0 run. But their failure to stop triples were their undoing.

The only glitch on the performance from Leeds was the amount of fouls they gave away especially in the 1st as they reached their maximum allowed and gave away cheap points as a result.

A huge win nonetheless for the Force in what was a testing weekend for the coach Newby’s roster.

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