All but one of the BBL Cup Semi Finalists are confirmed now, as the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders came from behind to beat the Worcester Wolves, the Marshall MK Lions stormed to a high scoring 101-95 finish against the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders, and the Cheshire Jets pulled off a shock win, 64-61 against the Newcastle Eagles. The results for the Lions and the Jets set up a tie between these two sides in the Semi Finals, with the Riders facing the winner of the Everton Tigers/Sheffield Sharks game, to be played on Friday 20th November at the EIS in Sheffield.
Although the Eagles started the game against the Jets as the stronger of the two sides, the Jets began to find their feet in the second after they finished the first quarter 8-17 down. An 8-3 run meant that the deficit was now just four points at 16-20, but the Eagles' tight finish to the quarter meant that they went into the locker rooms with a slender six point lead at 28- 34.
In the second half, the home side continued to close the gap on their visitors, as Marks and Frank Phifer combined for 13 points, to give the Jets a 50-47 lead heading into the final stanza. Reggie Jackson knocked down two free throws for the Eagles to keep it at a one shot game, 64-61 to the Jets with 33.9 seconds remaining, but his three point attempt at the end hit the rim, to leave the Jets faithful with a win and a place in the BBL Cup final four.
The Riders will join them for the first time in their history, after a 96-87 win over the Worcester Wolves, who had beaten them 113-111 the week before. Leicester trailed by 18 points at the start of the third but after point guard Tack Minor was taken to hospital with an eye injury in the first half, Bradd Wierzbicki, who was covering at the point guard position, scored 15 of his 38 points in the final quarter and inspired a 13-0 run late in the final stanza to lead the Riders' charge to victory.
The Marshall MK Lions also secured their place in the final four of the competition they won in 2008, with a 95-101 away win against the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders behind 14 fourth quarter points from EJ Harrison. Neither side looked to have sealed the win throughout the game, but a 17-4 fourth quarter run from the Lions capped off by three free throws from Mike New and one from EJ Harrison, secured the victory.
Back to league action and Friday evening saw the Everton Tigers beat the Guildford Heat 84-72, the Sheffield Sharks convincingly beat the Cheshire Jets 97-76 on their home floor before going on to take the scalp of the Newcastle Eagles, 89-93 at the Metro Radio Arena. The Everton Tigers capped off a crucial weekend with two wins, as they comfortably sneaked past the Airwaves Plymouth Raiders to finish off a miserable weekend for the West Coast outfit, as they lost 81-102.
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