Match Report



Reading Rockets77Loss
Team Newcastle University80Win

Reading Rockets 77 v 80 Team Newcastle

Having been relegated the previous evening, Team Newcastle appear to have lulled Rockets into a false sense of security, a trap they operated successfully.Rockets supporters had packed Rivermead hoping to see the anticipated victory which would virtually assure Rockets of a home draw in the Play-off Championship quarter finals in 2 weeks’ time.  But this was a rude awakening against a side who had nearly won on their own court just a few weeks back when Rockets scrambled an overtime win. For the second evening on the trot Rockets surrendered a double digit lead much to the consternation of all who witnessed Rockets demise.

Perhaps of most concern is that Rockets only shot 12% of their treble efforts against an average of 37%, only 3 in the first half and none in the second half against 10 drained by the opposition…..a difference in itself of 21 points alone. Rockets had begun well as A J Carr again was most impressive with nearly half of Rockets 25 points as Adrian O’Sullivan and Trae Pemberton complimented him with a brace of trebles and 16 yo David Chive threw a length of the court pass to fellow Academy youngster Arinze Emeka -Anyakwo to score. Rockets headed to the first break 25-20 in the lead.

Captain Danny Carter was able to return after missing the previous evenings away game in Loughborough and increased Rockets advantage with an up and under inside basket  before scoring off the glass and sending an assist to O’Sullivan to score. Rockets kept the 5 point advantage for most of the second period , even enjoying a 9 point lead with just over one minute remaining before the interval but a Newcastle rally took them to the interval just 44-47 down.

Having missed on their opening offense from possession at the start of the third quarter, Newcastle hit a treble to tie the game on 47. This was repeated on 49 and 57   but a step back finish from Carter coupled to 6 and 7 point personal hauls from Sydney Donaldson and Trae Pemberton respectively saw Rockets enjoy a 66-60 lead going into the final period.  A pair of Rockets misses either side of a Newcastle treble was soon settled as Carr scored off the rim,  from the free throw line and from the top of the key, so increasing Rockets narrow lead to 9 again  at 72-63 . However a turn over, a steal and another Newcastle treble gave them a 11-0 run despite the efforts of O’Sullivan taking a charge to stop another Newcastle score. Rockets nervousness was there to be seen no doubt with last nights loss from an even better position and the thought of a third consecutive defeat just ahead of the Play-offs. From level on 72 Newcastle drained a treble and scored inside though O’Sullivan hit 1 from 2 from the penalty stripe. A huge Pemberton treble seemed destined to score but it went in and rimmed out much to the frustration of the Rockets supporters. Chive scored to reduce the deficit to just 2 inside the last minute but Newcastle scored again. A might Carr treble effort  came back off the ring and even though Carter saw Rockets close to 3 points adrift of Newcastle, Rockets couldn’t tie the game as they did in Newcastle a few weeks ago and resigned themselves to a loss at 77-80.

Top scorers for Rockets were A J Carr with 20 pts and 7 rebounds, Sydney Donaldson with 13 points and  4 rebounds together with Danny Carter with 12 pts., and 6 rebounds and Trae Pemberton with 10 pts, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Rockets now finish their league campaign at home next Sun 31st when Danny Carter bids his retirement farewell after some 18 year with the Club only interrupted with a 4 year stint at college in the States.

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040


Date Time League Season
24/03/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2018 / 2019


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