The Loughborough Student Riders battled it out in their last home games of the season last weekend as both the men's and women's team took on tough opponents in the EBL quarter finals.

The men's first team were up first, taking on Canary Wharf Baltic Staff who had finished third in southern conference. Due to an altercation in their final game of the season against Wellingborough, the Baltic Staff were missing two of their key players.

Loughborough capitalized on this in the first quarter to open an early lead but by half time Canary Wharf had chipped into the lead and trailed by just four. The Student Riders continued to push the tempo of the game, relying on their shooting that had led them to dominate teams in regular season play.

Despite struggling to stop the students scoring, the Baltic Staff stayed close through the clutch play of Tadas Bagdonas, forcing tough shots and capitalizing on defensive lapses from the home side.

Loughborough had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation but a turnover on inbounding the ball meant the game went to overtime. With neither side able to pull away in the final period and Loughborough found themselves down three points with less than a minute to go. Ramiah O'Neil skied for an offensive rebound and scored to make it a one point game.

Following a mistake by the visitors Loughborough had just one shot to win it, the season came down to the final 24 seconds of overtime. A great team play resulted in Loughborough's John Stewart finding team-mate John Gould wide open on the three point line to drain the three and carry Loughborough through to the semi-final of the competition.

Loughborough Men will now take on Newham NASSA Stars in the EBL D3 semi-final.


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