On this day – Sept 12

2015 – Tosin leads the way for Big Cats

tosin-oyeleseLeopards made it two wins from two as Brunel University were beaten 86-61 at Harlow LeisureZone, on Saturday evening. While the visitors only led briefly in the first period, the final margin wasn’t a true reflection of the game, with the Big Cats finishing strongly to score the final 15 points to wrap up the win.

Forward Tosin Oyelese (left) had a career night for the Big Cats, pulling down an incredible 24 rebounds, 13 of which were on the offensive end, and adding 12 point.Essex Leopards v Brunel 12 Sep 2015; Will Ashby;

Understandably, Ogunjimi was delighted with his display: “I was very happy with Tosin. He was asked to carry the burden as we’re a bit under-sized, and he took his game to another level” he said. “I’m looking forward to him developing and having some more performances like that.”

Brentwood-based Will Ashby (left) led the Big Cats’ scoring with 26 points, adding six rebounds and four assists. Hitchman had a productive night with 23 points and seven boards while Hayes was also in double figures for rebounding.

The home side won the game on the boards, out-rebounding the visitors 66-46, which made up for a poor night shooting from beyond the arc, with only four of their 35 three-point efforts connecting.

Oyelese opened the scoring when he split a pair at the free-throw line, but the Division Three side started well and back-to-back baskets from Korey Callum gave them an 11-9 lead with five minutes gone.

Essex Leopards v Brunel 12 Sep 2015; Bryan NguruBut Ashby launched an 11-0 run which saw the Brunel held scoreless for five minutes in the NBA length (12 minute) period and Hayes hit his only basket of the night as Leopards went into the first break 22-13 ahead. But the visitors refused to roll over as they scored seven of the first 11 second period before treys from Brian Nyguru (left) and Ashby trey made it a ten-point game midway through the second period only to see Brunel finish the half on an 11-2 run to cut Leopards’ lead to 38-37 going into the locker room.Essex Leopards v Brunel 12 Sep 2015; Justin Hitchman;

Whatever Ogunjimi said at half-time clearly worked as Courtney Van Beest opened the second half scoring to launch a 17-2 run. Hitchman (right) hit nine straight points as Leopards took control , with Ashby adding a pair of baskets to put the Big Cats 55-39 ahead with eight minutes gone.

Ashby drained another three, and with Faruq Bilal and Nyguru adding to the scoreline, Leopards never looked back as they went into final break 64-45 ahead.

The visitors had one last run in them, scoring the first eight points of the fourth period before Hitchman broke the run, and it was the former Westminster Warrior who started the 15-0 run with Oyelse adding eight points as Leopards held the visitors scoreless for the final four minutes to wrap up the win

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