On this day – Dec 7

2019 – LEOPARDS EDGED OUT IN NOTTINGHAM

Hazeef Abdul had put the visitors 77-72 ahead with 3:20 remaining, but the Hoods went on a 10-0 run and despite Abdul making it a two point a game, Kieran Wright sunk a trey to send Leopards home empty handed .
Abdul led the Big Cats’ scoring again, finishing with 23 points, missing a double-double by a single rebound and adding three steals and as many assists . Ray Akpofure had his best night of the season to record a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards in 23 minutes, while Jerrell Okoro had 11 rebounds to go with his 16 points, and James Cummings was also in double figures with 12 points .
American Demetrius Houston led Hoods with 27 points while Delaney Powell was the only other home player in double figures with 19 points.
Hoods rushed into an 8-0 lead before Cummings ended a three minute drought with a trey . Leopards still found points hard to come by but an Abdul jump shot tied the score at 13 with three minutes left in the quarter and a pair of Akpofure baskets gave the Big Cats their first lead of the game as they went into the first quarter with a 21-19 lead .
Akpofure doubled that lead with the first score of the second period but a 9-0 run saw Hoods lead 30-25 with three minutes gone.
Okoro reduced the arrears and Marius Kaftaniukas scored from downtown to tie the score at 32 at the mid-point in the quarter . A Cummings three-point play gave Leopards a one point lead but back-to-back Houston baskets launched a good run from the home side as they went into the locker room 42-39 ahead .
Akpofure brought his side within a point after two minutes of the second half but Houston made it a seven point game halfway through the third period . Abdul kept his side in the game but despite an Okoro triple the visitors went into the final break 66-58 down.
Duru’s jump shot made it a six point with the fourth period’s opening score but the visitors trailed by ten before Abdul launched the run that dragged Leopards back into the game .
Back-to-back Cummings baskets saw the Big Cats grab a 71-70 lead with 5:12 on the clock and scores from Okoro and Abdul made it a five point game before Hoods’ strong finish ended Leopards’ chances .

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