Kent Crusaders II Men picked up their second straight win in NBL4 South East defeating league leaders Barking Abbey 75-69 on Saturday.
Crusaders came back from a 20 point deficit, winning the second half 48-28 to pick up the win.
“This really was a game of two halves today,” said head coach Jesse Sazant. “The first half was disappointing on a lot of levels, but I ‘m obviously very proud of how we reacted to it and played with real determination in the second half. Barking Abbey are so tough defensively and really gave us problems at times.”
Barking Abbey started off on fire, hitting 5 three pointers in the opening quarter, including 3 by Spyrios Kapsalos as they took a 24-16 lead. The second quarter saw Barking really step up their defensive intensity, as they forced numerous turnovers leading to easy scores with Robin Bedford leading the way. The lead reached 41-22 with under a minute left in the half, before a 5-0 closing run from Crusaders gave them hope of a comeback.
Crusaders came flying out of the gate with 3 straight three pointers from Tunde Oyerinde, Kalil Irving and Milo Gordon. Jonathan Brown then kept the charge going scoring on pull-ups and at the rim matched by Barking’s guards getting to the rim. By the end of third, Barking still led 56-51.
The fourth quarter saw Crusaders step up the D and catch fire from 3, matching Barking’s earlier exploits. Crusaders knocked down 6 three pointers in the third, with Elliot Bailey and Irving hitting 2 each. Kent gradually caught Barking and took a lead. Despite 9 points from Bedford in the fourth, Kent kept up the pressure and pulled away for the eventual 6 point win.
Brown led Crusaders with 19, followed by Beddow with 13, Irving 12 and Oyerinde 10. Capsules had 20 for Barking Abbey, supported by Bedford with 18.
Crusaders travel to Cambridge next weekend, for their penultimate game before the Christmas break, while Barking have a week off before hosting Richmond Knights.