Surrey Scorchers overturned a 25 point deficit to defeat the London Lions 82-90 at the Copper Box Arena on Friday evening thanks to one of the BBL’s finest final quarter displays on record.
Without a league win since December, Scorchers looked unlikely to take the points when they sat 21 points down early in the 4th quarter but an electrifying comeback stunned their hosts and handed Surrey their first BBL Championship win of the year.
“I am really proud of our performance last night.” Said Head Coach Creon Raftopoulos after the victory. “We showed a great fight-till-the-end attitude and that’s something that we’ve been trying to get across to the guys the whole season.
“I don’t want to single out specific players because in my mind that was a superb team performance, both offensively and defensively. I think that could be turning point in our season.”
A tight opening to the fixture saw the lead swing on numerous occasions, before the Lions gained momentum at 21-20 to close out the opening period with a 28-20 lead.
The story was much the same in Q2, as Alex Owumi extended their lead to 11 midway into the stanza before excellent rebounding from KC Ross-Miller opened a chance for Tayo Ogedengbe to reduce the deficit back down to 4. London once again cruised in the closing minutes to take the quarter and lead 49-38 at half time.
It was at this point that momentum was fully with the hosts. Early missed baskets from Ross-Miller and Andreas Schreiber created chances for the almost flawless Owumi as Lions produced their best defensive performance of the game to lead by what looked like an unassailable 21 points at the end of the 3rd (76-55).
With visions to being able to still take a victory, Coach Creon rallied his men round to turn up the intensity in the 4th, which is exactly what they did. A run off 11 straight successful baskets pulled the visitors to within 7 points and it was game on for the final 4 minutes. A brace from the charity line for both Ross-Miller and Elvisi Dusha took it down to a 1 point game as Lions peppered the basket with unsuccessful 3 point efforts.
Jordon Williams’ gave Scorchers their first lead since Q1 with 2.12 on the clock, before key plays from Dusha, Ross-Miller, Behrens, Williams and Fullah rounded off an incredible team display in the final quarter to take an 82-90 win in front of a stunned Lions crowd.
Ross-Miller’s pivotal 26 points and team accuracy on turnover balls completely cancelled out their opponents, who managed just 6 points to Scorchers’ 35 in the final period to complete an emphatic victory in the capital.
Scorchers will take this momentum into Sunday’s home tie against the Plymouth University Raiders (3.30pm tip-off) where they will be looking to break hearts in a thrilling Valentine’s Day encounter.