Worthing Thunder continued their disappointing losing streak to go 0-4 with a home defeat to Loughborough Riders. In a match delayed by 45 minutes due to the late arrival of the visitors after being caught up on the M1 following a traffic accident, Thunder scored the opening baskets of the encounter to lead 4-0 and held a slight advantage for the first half of the quarter but this was the only time in the match that the home side would see themselves in front. Once the Riders had advanced into a 9-7 lead there was no looking back for the young and enthusiastic Loughborough team.
It did not help that Thunder were missing Cameron Hildreth and it was a 16-2 run spanning the end of the first and opening 3 minutes of the second periods which saw the Riders end the quarter 29-17 and storm into a 19 point lead at 38-19. Thunder battled hard during the remainder of the second session but were still trailing by 18 points (53-35) as the teams went into the locker room for the half-time break.
The teams were fairly evenly matched throughout the rest of the game as they traded baskets and the home side tried to get back on terms but it was the visitors who narrowly won the third quarter 24-22. Although Thunder tried to get back into the game the nearest they got was to reduce the margin to 12 points with just three minutes of the match remaining . Riders however finished the game the stronger and extended their lead to finish victors by 14 points (97-79) as the final buzzer sounded.
Scorers for Thunder : AJ Basi (21 points); Zaire Taylor (18 points); Tom Ward (13 points) ; Alex Owumi (12 points) ; Josh Goddard (10 points); Dominic Ives (3 points); Ishmael Fontaine (2 points)
Thunder have now slipped to 7th place in the league – 4 points behind the third and fourth teams. With eight matches remaining Thunder will need a good run-in to finish the season in a top four position and secure a home berth in the post season play-offs. Of the remaining games four are at home and only one (other than the visit of Hemel) is against a team sitting above them in the league when Thunder visit Reading Rockets on 15 March.