Ipswich Basketball 96-87 East London All Stars
NBL Division 2
Copleston Sports Centre
Ipswich Basketball got their NBL Division 2 campaign back on track on Saturday as an outstanding third quarter proved the difference in the hosts’ victory over East London All Stars.
After an error-prone start from both sides, an explosive shooting performance out of half-time was to decide a game in which the two clubs looked well-matched for long periods.
Both teams committed multiple turnovers in the opening minutes, and as is often the case between two sides looking to play fast-paced basketball, it took some time for the game to settle into a rhythm. Having conceded an early eight-point lead, Ipswich went ahead on back-to-back three-pointers by Joel Keeble and Blake Read, and eked out a 20-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
East London made their way back into the game in the second thanks to a solid defensive effort and the versatile offence of Ben Maranan and Tim Shodipo, but two more threes by Keeble helped send Ipswich into the half with a three point advantage at 40-37.
If the first half had been a tight and tense affair, the second was blown open straight out of half-time as Ipswich’s leading scorer Jake Eynon erupted. The guard had 11 points in the first three minutes on his way to 22 in the quarter as Ipswich built a 15-point lead at 72-57.
Back to back 3s from Joel Keeble kept Ipswich in it first half (Photo: Pavel Kricka)
The visitors scrambled to respond and found some late offense from Jason Odei, but were forced to foul repeatedly in the closing minutes and saw three key contributors leave early as a result.
Eynon finished with a game-high 38 points to go with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Lee Hodges racked up a typically efficient 14 points and 13 rebounds, Keeble added 12 points, and Steve Hemmings, in his first game of the season after recovering from injury, added 13 points in six shots off the bench.
“Jake came out in the second half and showed exactly why he is receiving so much attention from defences this season,” said head coach Adam Robinson. “He was fantastic in the second half today.
“I thought after half-time we showed our quality as a collective; the ball movement was exceptional in the third quarter in particular and we started everything from the defensive end, which is exactly how I want to see us playing.”
Ipswich will have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when they entertain Baltic Stars at Copleston next Saturday evening.