Ipswich fight off Knights, prepare to face Storm in National Cup

Eivydas Aleksa was too much for the Richmond defense, scoring 14 of his 22 points after half-time (Images: Pavel Kricka)

Ipswich Basketball 83-66 Richmond Knights
National Cup Round Two
Copleston Sports Centre

The absence of last week’s top scorers Colin Dockrell and Cameron Hawes wasn’t enough to slow Ipswich down as they won their second straight game over Richmond Knights on Saturday.

Captain for the day Ben Winter played the first 27 minutes of the game as he led Ipswich to victory

Eivydas Aleksa scored 22 points in his first game in front of the Copleston crowd and point guard Ben Winter added 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to power Ipswich past a couple of notable old boys.

Knights guards Aaron Moseley and Isaac Omirin had distinguished careers at Ipswich, and they led Richmond in points and assists respectively.

But Ipswich led throughout, leading early as forward Jed Robinson started with 14 points in the first half to pace Ipswich’s offense.

Moseley struggled to get going early, while Omirin and Hamidullah combined for 18 of the Knights’ 30 first-half points as Ipswich led 42-30 at the break.

Ipswich found more tempo to their offense in the second, and despite dressing only eight players for this game, were again able to play at a consistently high pace.

Jed Robinson impressed with his varied offense, especially in the first half

Aleksa and Ethan Price were the keys to that, as the pair poured in 14 and 11 points respectively as Ipswich broke the game open in the third quarter.

The hosts led by as many as 22 early in the fourth quarter, before a quick run sparked by Moseley briefly brought the visitors within as few as eleven.

A disciplined final few minutes from Ipswich’s starters clinched an assured victory.

Price finished with a double-double of 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Robinson piled on 16 points and eight rebounds.

“I’m very pleased to be advancing through to the next round of the National Cup,” said Head Coach John Ellis.

“We were missing Colin, Cameron, Rabi Rai and Steve Hemmings from last week, and even without those four we played with the same level of intensity for long stretches of the game.”

Ipswich now head to Hemel Storm again in the National Cup Third Round, a repeat of last year’s fixture.

The squad’s next home game is next Saturday at 5.30pm, as East London All Stars visit in the final group game of the Patrons Cup.