After an enterprising opening quarter as captain Danny Carter led by example and Chris Hooper scored well in the paint, Rockets had a very poor second period which ultimately determined the game, against the joint league leaders who were on a 5-1 winning run.
Joel Keeble opened Rockets’ scoring with one from two from the line before Carter stroked a treble and Craig Ponder hit a pull up jump shot . Hooper made a three point play and Rockets led 11-0. Northumbria found their shooting prowess and hit a brace of trebles before Paulin Jardim scored with
a base line drive seeing Rockets take the opening exchanges by 22-13.
A couple of early turnovers and with both Rockets Americans on two fouls, coupled to the team in foul trouble , Northumbria made hay taking the quarter 30-15 and with it a 43-37 interval lead. Carter fought tirelessly to keep Rockets in contention as he amassed 14 points at the break and Jardim added a treble but Rockets knew they had to improve much to take a win in the road.
18 year old Academy player Bikram Rana came on to play a key role as Ponder was called for his fourth personal foul, helping himself to a pair of trebles as together with Carter they stayed close to Northumbria at 56-65. The game was peppered with interruptions by the over zealous referees with
Rockets finding themselves on the wrong end of 31-18 stat giving Northumbria the comfort of the penalty stripe with regularity and Rockets finding themselves with their key import players sidelined and playing just minor parts……a big penalty to pay.
Young Spaniard Fidel Gomez scored from a tip in to cut Rockets’ deficit early in the final quarter to just 7 points but a Northumbria treble opened up a double digit lead from which they were rarely troubled in the latter stages of the game. Juan Valerio scored his only points of the game in the fourth period as Jardim took his personal points tally to eleven and a sound development for the 18 year old University student.
With another top riding team in Bradford Dragons waiting for Rockets within 24 hours, Head Coach Manuel Pena Garces rested Danny Carter who sat down top scoring with 27 points, Chris Hooper added 15 points, and Paulin Jardim hit 11 points.
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|05/11/2016||18:15||NBL Division 1||2016 / 2017|
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