Loughborough Student Riders took a 63-53 victory over the Essex Leopards in the first home action of the new year to improve to 8-7 in their first season in NBL Division One.
Loughborough Students opened an early lead in the game behind the positive scoring from newly signed Josh Ward-Hibbet and Max Richardson before the Essex Leopards fought back into the game late into the first quarter but fast-break play from the Student Riders reestablished a small lead at the mid-point of the second quarter.
The second half saw the Essex Leopards cut into the Student Riders lead led by AJ Roberts however settling play from the Loughborough back court along with some big shots allowed the home side to progress to the fourth quarter with a double-digit lead and were able to hang.
Student Riders Head Coach Mark Jarram comment on the game following the victory.
“Nice to be on our home floor and get a much needed win. I thought we were a different team in the first 20 and the second 20 minutes. We delivered in more of the areas of emphasis and it showed with a better on court performance.
We have to do a better job in being more consistent with those things, but overall we aggressively compete, now just need to turn the corner and be smarter with our decision making on court. What I like about this group is the ability for multiple contributions throughout the roster, which is what happened today. Any player can have their impact on the game and we need a group that can buy in and invest in each other with the depth we have.”
Josh Ward-Hibbert led the scoring for the Student Riders with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds whilst Max Richardson finished with 13 points, Jonas Dieterich totalled 12 and Alex Roberts with 11 points.
Student Riders travel to face the Leicester Warriors on the road next weekend and return home on February 18th when they take on the Worthing Thunder at 6pm!