Glasgow Rocks were able to make it an on-the-road winning weekend with after a third quarter riot over Cheshire Phoenix at the Northgate Arena, helping them to score a 102-90 victory over their fellow early season strugglers.
Sterling Davis’ side scored six consecutive three-pointers coming out from the half-time break which ultimately helped secure Glasgow the win.
A strong start by Rocks, thanks to the outside work of up-and-coming GB star Alex Marcotullio, almost saw them control the game from the outset, but Phoenix kept their focus initially to keep the gap to just four points, 24-28, in the first quarter thanks to late buckets from Devan Bailey and Dominique Coleman.
Phoenix did regain the lead in the second quarter, but a 12-2 run midway through helped restore Glasgow’s command on proceedings, and they were able to reinstate and extend to a lead of six going in to the locker room at half-time, 46-52 to the good.
What was to come, though, was a display unseen so far this season by the visitors in any capacity.
The magnificent shooting display from outside the arc by Glasgow left many at the Northgate lost for words. An 18-8 run by Glasgow, consisting completely of points from the perimeter, put Davis’ side in a perfect position. It must be said though that Phoenix again tried to eat into the deficit; it did not go unnoticed by player-coach Sterling Davis, who steadied his side after calling a time out late in the quarter, furious in how his team had let slip seven quick points, and then went on to personally restore a 15 point advantage going into the final ten minutes.
Phoenix did put up yet another fight as the clock ticked down, but any chance of a comeback was put to bed as Gareth Murray took Rocks over the 100-point barrier.
Victor Moses had an astounding individual performance, with another double-double this campaign, leading all scorers with 31 points and adding 15 boards into the mix, as his team-mate Reggie Middleton also made a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists.
The starting five for Rocks all made double figure scoring on their way to victory, Daniel Northern grabbing 21 points and 14 rebounds, but EJ Harrison top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, 15 of those coming from beyond the perimeter making 83% of his shots from that distance.
After recent criticism of their run of results, this weekend has lifted a burden of some sorts from the shoulders of Sterling Davis, and he was happy with the improvements made over the past performances on court, capped off with this particular win: “We’ve taken a good couple of steps forward, as a group we just needed that win and get the feel of winning again. It’s always tough to come to the Northgate and win. The guys did a great job of coming here with the right mindset and intensity from yesterday; it carried over from yesterday’s performance and we proved ourselves more today.”
The turning point in the third quarter was instrumental, and Davis felt his side had to address that when they stepped back on court after the break: “We said at half time that we needed to come out with the right intensity – I thought the first half we did a lot of things well, but we knew that Cheshire would come out and try and throw something at us and we had to make sure our focus was on being aggressive and being the aggressors.”
For Phoenix head coach John Lavery, he knows ultimately it was going to be a struggle to prevent Glasgow’s offensive with the short rotation they currently have at their disposal, and noted their efforts in the third quarter, despite always being in with a shout of pulling back the game: “All credit to Glasgow, whatever they executed they got a good look at, defensively we couldn’t get any stops whatsoever.
“We always thought we were in the game, but when you give up 102 points, you’re never going to win any basketball game,” concluded Lavery.