Leicester Riders thrash USA Select team in pre-season match

Leicester Riders made light work of a touring USA Select side by thrashing the Americans 107-58.

Riders were at full strength – bar their two most recent signings, JR Holder and Mike Rodriguez – for Saturday’s pre-season fixture at Leicester Arena, and showed an attacking intent from the off.

The Americans matched them over the first five minutes led by their captain Chase Morgan’s two three-pointers.

But it did not take long for Riders to show superior touch and power inside, as new signing Thomas De Thaey and Andy Thomson dominated the boards, and finished off slickly close to the basket, including a thundering dunk from De Thaey.

Captain Tyler Bernardini buried a couple of threes early on as Riders raced to a 22-12 first-quarter lead.

The Americans were just at the start of a daunting schedule of 21 games in 20 days, but Riders were in no mood to show any mercy as they knocked down an impressive 14 threes from 32 attempts, while the Select side could manage just four, shooting under 20 per cent from beyond the arc.

By half-time, Riders were good value for a 49-23 lead.

Leicester Riders v USA Select

Riders were getting contributions from throughout the squad and Loughborough University student Max Richardson knocked down a couple of threes and grabbed a couple of rebounds.

Head coach Rob Paternostro was able to fully utilise his bench, giving minutes to all 12 players, and Riders outscored the Americans 28-13 in the third quarter.

There was no let-up in the final period, with Eric Robertson and Josh Ward Hibbert showing fine scoring touches to help Riders to their biggest lead of the game at 49 points on the final buzzer.

Robertson led the scoring with 17 points, including three three-pointers as well as three assists, and Ward-Hibbert continued his improved play with nine rebounds to go with 14 points. Keifer Douse impressed again with 15 points and seven assists.

Riders shot 53 per cent from the floor, 44 per cent from the three-point line and 88 per cent from free-throw line.

Riders: Robertson 17; Douse 15; Ward-Hibbert 14; Thomson 10; Bernardini 9; Richardson 9; De Thaey 8; Gamble 8; Walker 8; Lascelles 5; Christofis 4; Broughton.

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