Third quarter collapse sees Ipswich Men beaten by Middlesex
- Credit: Archant
NBL Division Two Ipswich 89 Middlesex 105 Ipswich’s Senior Men continued their mid-season struggles with a home loss against the rapidly improving Middlesex BC on Saturday, writes Rob Schatten.
In a frenetic, up-tempo game at Copleston Sports Centre, the visitors’ outside shooting and offensive rebounding successes combined to give them an edge over the Suffolk side.
Ipswich played an efficient game themselves on offense, shooting almost 50% from the field and limiting turnovers, but another third-quarter slump in which Middlesex briefly led by as many as 24 effectively killed the game.
The hosts had started in fine fashion, leading 11-3 after less than two minutes with quick scores from Ryan Wilson, Colin Dockrell, Rabi Rai and Rory Winter.
But Middlesex had edged ahead after one quarter, up five points thanks to the red-hot shooting of Modestas Krasauskas and the playmaking inside of Daniel Szatkowski.
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An extremely tight second quarter saw Ipswich pull within two, even fighting through foul trouble to Wilson and Winter, as Cameron Hawes came off the bench to shoot the ball efficiently.
A quick run for Middlesex just before the break saw them take an eight-point lead into half time.
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For the second week in a row, it was the third quarter which cost Ipswich a realistic shot at victory, with a slow start to the quarter allowing the visitors to run up the lead, during which time Winter fouled out of the game.
Eventually, behind Dockrell and Hawes, coach John Ellis’ side cut into the gap, and several times during the fourth quarter got back within single digits, but Krasauskas had the answer every time.
The Lithuanian finished with a game-high 36 points on nine made three-point shots, and was backed up by Marius Ceponis’ 24 points and nine rebounds.
Dockrell put Ipswich on his back throughout, coming up with a captain’s performance to finish with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
Wilson made his way to 21 points through the foul trouble, while Hawes shot the ball well again to finish with 13.
Now at 6-10 for the season, Ipswich are still in with a good chance of making the playoffs, and travel to fellow hopefuls Westminster Warriors next weekend.