Leicester Riders Come Agonisingly Close Against Szolnoki Olaj - Hoopsfix.com

Leicester Riders Come Agonisingly Close Against Szolnoki Olaj

Leicester Riders continue to look for their first win on the continent after suffering an agonising 82-79 loss at the hands of Szolnoki Olaj on Wednesday night in Hungary.

Despite trailing throughout and by as many as 15, Riders kept it competitive, dominating the final period and using a last gasp comeback to overturn a 7 point deficit in the final minute.

Conner Washington – who finished with a game-high 21 points – knocked down a triple with six seconds remaining to pull Leicester within 3, but Szolnoki knocked down their free throws before a Andy Thomson layup as time ran out gave the final score.

Andy Thomson added 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, whilst Jamell Anderson and JR Holder added 11 points-a-piece, as Riders were without DeAndre Burnett.

“Coming in here we knew what a really good team they were,” Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro said. “We’ve been very impressed watching them all season, I think they’re a really complete team. We knew we had to play with pride, passion and energy all night if we wanted to stay with them; I thought our guys did that.

“We played as hard as we could, but I thought at key moments, turnovers let us down. If you look at it, we had 17 turnovers today and that was the difference for us in the game.

“…We know no-one expected us to win in this, so we have to play a really, really smart, complete game to compete. But I’m proud of our guys and the way we competed.”

The defeat means Riders drop to 0-3 in the FIBA Europe Cup, bottom of Group H, where they will need a top 2 finish to advance to the Second Round.

Riders attention now moves to Dinamo Sassari, who they will face next Wednesday in Italy.

Box score.

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