A strong final quarter from the Plymouth Raiders gave them an 84-79 victory over Glasgow Rocks in the first leg of the play-off quarter-final.
Gavin Love’s men take a five point lead into the second leg at Kelvin Hall on Sunday. The hosts were led by 26 points from Jeremy Bell and a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds from Paul Williams while Mychal Green had a game high 27 points for the Rocks.
The visitors used an 8-0 surge in the first quarter to establish an early lead at 13-22. An explosive finish to the opening ten minutes ensued with four three pointers being made in the final few minutes, including one on the buzzer from Michael Ojo as Plymouth trailed 23-28.
The lead peaked at nine points again for Glasgow after a three from Andrew Wedemire but the home side hit back with a 12-3 response to take the lead at 50-48. Gareth Murray scored four points in quick succession as the Rocks regained their advantage going into the half-time interval with a slender 53-54 lead.
The scoring slowed when play resumed with both teams adding just two points to their total, in the opening three minutes. Ojo and Harrison traded three’s late on as Glasgow pushed their third quarter tally into double figures; edging the scoring 13-9 to take a 57-62 lead into the final quarter.
Four more points from Ojo sparked a 7-2 start to the fourth from the Raiders as they set up a tense finale. After falling behind momentarily, Plymouth had a run of six unanswered points to lead 75-71 midway through the crucial final ten minutes. The teams were level again at 75 before Plymouth moved in front for the final time as they wrapped up the victory.
Plymouth have now beaten Glasgow four times this season and will aim to defend their five point advantage on Sunday in order to make the semi-finals of the Play-Offs.