Leicester Riders 91 Leeds Force 43: Force given a rough ride by league’s ‘mean machine’

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Leeds Force lost to the meanest defensive outfit in the BBL on Saturday night, 91-43 at the hands of Leicester Riders.

Leicester made it five league wins on the bounce, chalking up their best defensive performance and largest winning margin of the BBL Championship campaign so far.

It’s Leicester’s sixth straight win over Leeds, and builds on a record-breaking 2015 in which they won 88.6 per cent of their league games.

The 2016 opener was never in doubt after Riders raced out with the first 12 points of the game when Tyler Bernardini hit a three-pointer and TrayVon Wright added six points. Force, shooting just 25 per cent on the night, failed to register in the opening three minutes, and in the second quarter Riders pushed the lead out to 43-23.

Most of the damage was done in a 27-8 third quarter in which Riders went on an 18-0 surge and held their visitors scoreless for a further seven minutes, to lead 70-31.

Riders had six different scorers in that run, including five points for Neil Watson, and that was indicative of their second-half performance as, by the end of the game, all 12 of their players had made it onto the scoresheet.

But it was their defence that ensured that Leeds remain winless against Leicester since joining the BBL. 43 points is the lowest tally in any game so far this season, and it’s worth noting that Riders, on average, concede at least 10 fewer points than the next-best defensive team in the league.