Though having defeated Warriors away in early Nov by 96-82, the depleted Rockets ( Adrian O’Sullivan still out with an ankle injury and joined by Sam Grant ) were acutely aware of Riders recent signings and the return to the court of experienced guard Carl Pearson so knew the challenge was significant. However they didn’t foresee the awesome game played by Riders Raphell Thomas – Edwards as he hit 34 points , took down 18 rebounds and made 6 steals to be the outstanding player on the court.
Rockets scored first as the ever improving big man A J Carr stroked a treble from out wide but a 12-1 Warriors run including a brace of trebles confirmed the challenge ahead. Sydney Donaldson hit a treble to encourage the appreciative fans as Rockets drew level on 13 and 15 . Warriors edged ahead but an awesome cross court pass from Carr to Trae Pemberton saw the shooting guard claw Rockets close at 21-24 as the opening period ended.
The second quarter saw a hail of trebles from Warriors increase their lead whatever Rockets did and Carr hit 14 personal points to add to his double digit opening period score to lead all scorers at the break with 24 points as Thomas -Edwards only had 13 at this stage. Warriors led 46-38 with 18 of those points beyond the ark. Danny Carter opened his account with the first score after the break and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo did likewise moments later to draw Rockets to 42-46. Warriors stroked a treble but this was matched by a Pemberton treble but midway through the third period he was called for his fourth personal foul adding pressure to the young and inexperienced Rockets. When Carter also troubled the referees he picked up his fourth foul and despite Tanner Kuehn scoring his first Rockets points at The Mead Rockets found themselves 51-65 adrift as the fourth quarter beckoned.
The strong and powerful Warriors hit 4 more trebles to quash whatever resistance Rockets could muster and Thomas -Edwards took his second half tally to 20 points as he dominated both ends of the court to give the Man of the Match performance. Rest assured this Warriors team will be moving hurriedly up the league table having reversed the original game score between these two sides and will be doing likewise with others for the remainder of the next 2 months in this most competitive of leagues. With Carr well marshalled by Warriors after the break, Carter fouled out and Pemberton having to be so restrained on four fouls, this was as good as it was getting to get on what some called a ‘bad hair day’ for Rockets.
A J Carr scored 24 pts. and took down 4 rebounds with Trae Pemberton hitting 18 pts and taking down 6 rebounds as Donaldson was Rockets best defender on the boards with 8 rebounds to match his 8 points. New signing Tanner Kuehnscored 6 points on his Rivermead debut.
|02/02/2019||17:00||NBL Division 1||2018 / 2019|
|24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK|