On this day – Oct 23

2016 – Disastrous start proves key for Leopards

dave-v-magicA disastrous first period for the Big Cats paved the way for an 80-60 defeat against Manchester Magic at the Brentwood Centre, on Sunday. A big crowd at the Brentwood Centre were left stunned as Steve Ogunjimi’s team went more than six minutes without a score as reigning champions Magic poured in 18 unanswered points.

The 24-4 first period deficit proved to be insurmountable for the home side, and was Leopards’ lowest scoring period for over ten years since being outscored 4-2 in a brutal fourth period at Reading.
Essex Leopards v Manchester Magic, 23 Oct 2016; Mike Martin calling the play;Injuries played a big part in Leopards’ woes with the Big Cats struggling at the guard positions due to injuries to Bode Adebuola and Brian Nguru, with Ogunjimi making a brief first appearance for the first time since returning to the club. Justin Hitchman and Caleb Taberner was also missing, but the home side were able to give guard AJ Roberts his debut, with the American having a quiet seven points and two rebounds.
Only Mike Martin troubled the scorers in the first period as the Big Cats struggled offensively but they finally clicked in the second period as Dougie  Bennett started and finished a 15-4 run to cut the lead to 30-19 but Magic answered with an 8-2 run before Roberts hit a foul shot to send Leopards into the locker room trailing 40-24.Essex Leopards v Manchester Magic, 23 Oct 2016; Mike Martin with the jump shot;
Martin opened the second half scoring and a Bennett and-one kept his side in touch before Dave Ajumobi hit five points in a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 51-44 at the final break.
Having finally given the crowd something to cheer about, that proved to be as good as it got for the home side as Jack Minister and Ryan Lewis hit treys to open the fourth period and although Roberts hit five straight points to cut the deficit to 11, Magic finished strongly to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Ajumobi finished with 15, with Martin adding a 13 point, 11 rebound double-double. In the absence of Adebuola to add ten points. Simon Anumba led all scorers with a 30 point haul, with Lewis finishing with a 14 point, 13 rebound double-double.

Worthing Thunder 115
GreaterLondon Leopards 130
BBL Championship @ Worthing Leisure Centre


2004 – Leopards run Magic close

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