FIBA Europe Cup, Round 2, Group L
London Lions 82-75 Bakken Bears (17-25, 27-41, 54-50)
(Lions – Williams 23, Kelley 16, Teague 15; Bears – Ogungbemi-Jackson 15, Evans 13, Ongwae 10)
London Lions finished off their FIBA EuropeCup campaign with a huge win at the Copper Box Arena, beating perennial Danish champions Bakken Bears 82-75 as Isaiah Reese posted a remarkable triple-double of 13 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
It means Lions finish with a 1-5 record in the second round group stages and bow out of the competition, having represented British basketball valiantly, initially going 5-1 in their first round group and adding this victory to others over medi Bayreuth, Donar Groningen and Kapfenberg Bulls.
They had to come from behind in front of another raucous midweek home crowd, and were in a first half hole as Bakken scored on their first six trips down the floor and led 15-4 after three minutes, with Tyler Ongwae making a pair of three-pointers among his eight early points.
Lions soon got to grips with their visitors and were back within two shots at 21-17 after a 10-4 push, as Kylor Kelley had a big block and went 3-3 for six points in that run; but they trailed by double-digits once more before the break, at 41-25 when Thomas Laerke and Darko Jukic hit triples in a 13-4 response.
The hosts turned the game on its head after half time, hitting an 18-4 surge midway through the third period as Isaiah Reese scored six points and Dirk Williams hit a three-pointer, before taking the lead when Kylor Kelley finished an ‘alley-oop’ from Reese, Julian Washburn hit a triple and Marquis Teague beat the third quarter buzzer in a 6-0 finish for 54-50. In all, it was a 27-7 spell over eight minutes.
And, with their tails up, Lions extended the lead to double-figures at 66-56 midway through the fourth when Williams knocked down consecutive three-pointers from opposite corners, as he had 16 of his game-high 23 points in the final period to keep Lions in front for good.