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Wildcats repel Lions to claim first BBL success of season
DURHAM WILDCATS claimed their first BBL win of the season as they withstood a spirited fightback from London Lions to run out 83-73 winners at Newton Aycliffe.
Wildcats were 20 points clear during the third quarter, but London reduced the gap to just two points with a little over a minute to play.
However, a run of eight unanswered points in the final 60 seconds enabled Durham to end the Lions' unbeaten run and underline their own credentials as play-off candidates under new head coach Lee Davie.
Buoyed by their recent narrow defeat to North-East rivals, Esh Group Eagles Newcastle, Wildcats made a dream start, and were 16-3 up in the first quarter after Mike Allison, who ended the game as the leading scorer with 22 points, scored from close range.
London rallied, and after Rod Brown landed the visitors' first three-point score, the quarter ended with Durham 23-22 ahead.
Another London surge left the hosts trailing, but Allison's 14 first-half points enabled Durham to maintain their one-point lead at the interval.
The third quarter belonged to the Wildcats, who broke the game wide open as they dominated at both ends of the court to go from 43-42 to 69-49.
London fought back again, and Durham's lead was reduced to two when Julius Joseph split two free throws.
However, Ralph Bucci calmed Wildcats nerves with a three, and two Allison free throws with 30 seconds remaining secured Durham's first success of the season
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