On this day – Sept 28

2012 – Leopards defeat Topcats

Leopards made a winning start to their home National Trophy campaign with a 77-63 victory against Brixton Topcats on Friday evening. The Brentwood Centre crowd saw Simon Cummings lead the scoring for the Big Cats with 21 points, adding six assists and four rebounds, while Rowell Graham had another excellent game as he finished perfect from the floor by hitting all seven field goal attempts on the way to 19 points and eight rebound.

Having only been given clearance to play four hours before tip-off, new signing Carl Josey had a ten point, 12 rebound double-double, adding four assists and three steals as Leopards overcame a slow start to pick up the victory.

Free-throws continued to be a problem for the Big Cats as they missed 21 of their 41 efforts, but Brixton were even worse from the charity stripe with just 30 percent, and Leopards also struggled from outside the three point arc as they converted just three of 22 efforts.

Lawrence Brown opened the scoring off a Cummings assist, but the visitors looked the more cohesive side in the early stages and led 8-6 after five minutes play following a Moseley basket, with Leopards not helping themselves by missing their first seven free-throws. Scores from Dan Dunscombe and Cummings put Leopards back into the lead, and they went into the first break with a 16-15 advantage as Graham hit a jump shot.

Topcats started the second period well as Moseley put them 22-19 ahead to force a timeout from coach Robert Youngblood wit 6:44 on the clock, and the move worked as Lukas Volskis drained a trey to start an 11-1 run that was capped by a pair of Cummings free-throws. Former Leopard Bradley Wilkinson broke the run, but Dunscombe replied to start a 12-0 run close out the half with Graham completing the scoring to send the Big Cats into the locker room with a 42-25 lead.

Only Cummings could trouble the scorers for Leopards in the opening five minutes of the second half as Brixton chipped away at the lead and reduced it to 49-42, Graham added to the score with a pair at the foul line, but Wilkinson made it a three-point game at 55-52 going into the final break.

Youngblood played the majority of his 13:45 minutes in the final period, and showed what an asset he is when on the floor by providing the assist for Graham to open the fourth period with an alley-oop and the Leopards player-coach completed the 8-0 run. Five of those points came in one offence as Robert Gallaty was called for a technical foul and the prolonged offence saw effectively put Leopards back in charge. There was still time for another massive Graham dunk off Youngblood’s pass as the Big Cats recorded their first win of the season.

Vytenis Petkus led Brixton with 15 points, while Uche Umekwe had 11 points and as many boards.

Leopards: S Cummings (21), R Graham (19), C Josey (10), D Dunscombe (9), L Brown (6), R Youngblood (5), L Volskis (4), T Adu (3), J Johnson, T Martin, S Bublys, D Camille (DNP)

2019 – Leopards crushed in Southampton

Leopards’ Division One season opened ended in a heavy loss as they went down 122-61 at Solent Kestrels, on Saturday. The home side opened with an 8-0 run and never looked back as they dominated from tip to buzzer, going into the first break 33-19 and then effectively ending the game as a contest with a 29-19 second period to lead 62-38 at half-time.

Things didn’t get any better for the Big Cats in the second half as they lead grew to 91-52 at the final break and the fourth quarter saw them outscored 31-9, adding only a single point in the last five minutes.
Hafeez Adbul led Leopards with 17 of his 24 points coming in the first half, adding five boards and three assists. Jerelle Okoro was the only other Big Cat in double figures, finishing with ten points while Prince Lartey adding eight as Leopards suffered the biggest defeat in club history.

The home side crushed Baker’s team on the boards as they were outrebounded 59-32 and shot just 26 percent from the floor. Solent’s American pair Ian Smith and Travis Charles finished with 26 points apiece, with the latter adding nine rebounds. Elliot Sentance marked his debut with 23 points, four boards and three assists while captain Elliot Dadds had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Luke Busumbru had 13 points and five assists.


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