AFTER an 84-75 home defeat by title-chasing Hemel Storm on Saturday, Mansfield Giants Basketball club’s senior men escaped relegation this weekend with a 102-91 win over basement side London United on Sunday.
A strong start from the Giants stunned the Storm, but a time-out from coach Titmus was called to settle the visitors.
The Storm composed themselves, but the Giants led 18-17 after the first period.
The Storm began to open up a small lead, but the Giants kept on their tails and, once again went back into the lead.
The teams traded baskets but it was Hemel that ended the half with a 35-33 advantage.
Both teams started to step up their defensive intensity, but neither really got a grip on the game as there was just one point separating the teams going into the final period.
Hemel’s experience then shone through as they started to take control of the game and finished the game with a 84-75 win.
Top scorers: C. Morant-Hudson 22, S. Eboigbe 11, A. Jegede 11.
So on Sunday the Giants travelled down to take on London United for a crunch game.
The young United team came out all guns blazing as they took an early lead.
Dan Richards called a time-out to steady the ship, but the Londoners won the first quarter 30-22.
The Giants stepped up on defence and immediately got themselves back into the game and took the lead.
Great offensive rebounding from Marcellus and solid team defence earned the Giants a 48-42 half-time advantage.
United again came out firing on all four cylinders as they clawed themselves back into the game with some excellent outside shooting.
Another time-out was called to stop the onslaught, but the Londoners began to open up an eight point lead.
The Giants came out in the fourth with a point to prove and played some of their best basketball of the season.
Great defence by Dan Watts sparked the Giants, and some fantastic ball movement created some easy buckets before Jegede sealed the win with some great free throw shooting.
Head coach Dan Richards said: “We have been playing some great basketball recently and think the team are relived to get a win under our belts.
“It’s definitely taken some pressure off us and now we can concentrate on a play-off spot.”
Top scorers: Marcellas 28, Jegede 23, Eboigbe 15.