Rai, Hawes lead fightback as Ipswich dodge Arrows

Ipswich Basketball 93-84 Derbyshire Arrows
National League Division II
Copleston Sports Centre

Rabi Rai and Cameron Hawes combined for 30 second-half points as a furious comeback propelled Ipswich Basketball to a vital win over their bogey team, Derbyshire Arrows, on Saturday.

Trailing 46-37 at half time and on a three-game losing streak, Ipswich needed to find an extra gear to reverse the deficit – and they certainly did that, shooting 62% in a 34-point barrage in the third quarter to seize back the initiative.

Ipswich had had the better of a fast-paced opening period, but then struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the second, as they scored just ten points.

Meanwhile, Joseph Baugh was on fine form for Derby – as he always is against Ipswich – and the ex-BBL forward had 13 of his game-high 28 points in the first half.

Kendel Glapion made a big impact with 13 points for the Arrows in the second quarter.

After the break, however, Coach John Ellis made several adjustments and his Ipswich side reacted in fashion. Rai and Ryan Wilson led the comeback, even if seven-foot centre Jonny Hall got the biggest Copleston cheer of the third quarter when he knocked down a three-pointer.

Rai had 15 points and three steals in the third quarter.

Hawes came alive in the second half, and hit three important triples as well as connecting on a sublime pass from captain Colin Dockrell for a layup on his way to 13 points.

Wilson finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds for Ipswich, while Rai had 19 points and Hall and Dockrell finished with identical 16/10 double-doubles.

“In a pivotal game against one of our fiercest rivals, I really enjoyed the manner of our second-half performance,” said Coach Ellis.

“We were aggressive and imposing defensively, tried some different strategies, and that set the foundation for everything we did on the other end.

“We had five players in double-figures but more importantly we took more care of the basketball than I’ve seen for some time, which is what pleased me the most about today.”

Ipswich now look ahead to next week’s fixture, which is at home against table-toppers Nottingham Hoods.