Mansfield Giants men’s lost their opening EBL Division Three match 87-73 away to Nottingham Hoods on Saturday.
Giants were without influential American import DJ Spain, due to attending a training session with a NBA D League team back home in America, and return next week.
Giants started the game in dominant fashion, with Hoods calling a quick time-out as Calvin Morant-Hudson continued where he left off from last week, Giants taking an early 8-2 lead.
Hoods continued to pursuit Giants, but with the return of Lance Creswell from injury and sharp shooter Lee Fitchett scoring back-to-back threes, it allowed Giants to take a 23-17 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, a poor second quarter from Giants saw a Hoods comeback as Nottingham’s American forward Scott woke up to score his first points of the game and went on to score 10 points in the quarter.
Giants made sloppy turnovers and began to tire at the defensive end as Hoods opened up a 40-31 lead at the halfway mark.
The visitors then came back out with a bang as Morant-Hudson scored 19 points alone in the quarter.
Giants moved the ball well and took the game to a three point deficit at 60-57 with the final minute remaining.
Hoods’ Mitchell and Asinder were then found open to score crucial two back-to-back threes to strengthen Hoods’ lead in the dying seconds to take a 66-57 lead into the final quarter.
Giants tried their best in the final quarter to pull back the deficit, but with numerous players picking up foul trouble and shooting guard Fitchett suffering from a serious ankle injury, Giants began to run out of steam, but battled until the end.
Most of Giants’ points came from free throws in the final quarter, but the deficit was too much.
Giants’ scorers: C. Morant-Hudson 39, L. Creswell 10, D. Richards 10, B. Plummer 5, G. Collins 3, L. Fitchett 3, T. Brown 2, C. McIntyre, N. Halstead, J. MacDonald
Giants men’s team now have a week’s break until their next game against Team Birmingham away on Saturday 18th October and the second round of the men’s shield on Sunday, 19th October against Sporting Club Albion at Oak Tree Leisure Centre (2pm).