Giants blow chance to close gap

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Mansfield Giants’ men blew their chance to close the gap at the bottom of the table with another close defeat to local rivals Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows, going down 78-71 on Saturday.

The Giants welcomed back star big man Mark Woodhouse and raced out of the blocks to gain an early lead.

Some clever play enabled the Arrows to sneak behind the Giants’ defence to keep the score relatively close, but it was Mansfields that took the first period 21-17.

Again the Giants played a solid second quarter, but a series of missed lay-ups enabled the Arrows to convert at the other end, allowing them to take a lead 39-33 at the halfway mark.

The third quarter was very evenly matched as both teams started to pick up their defensive pressure.

The game was starting to increase in physicality, but the Giants remained nine down going into the final period.

A foul, followed by a technical foul by the Arrows’ sent RB Clyburn to the foul line to sink all four of his shots to close the gap, but a sloppy pass straight after gave the Arrows another easy basket.

The Giants kept fighting until the end, but too many unforced errors cost them a much needed victory.

Giants’ top scorers: RB Clyburn 30, P. Xavier 13, M. Woodhouse 12.

Mansfield Giants are back at home this Saturday as they take on local rivals and title contenders Derby Trailblazers.

The Giants pulled off a massive upset as they beat the Trailblazers 73-67 on their home court back in November.

The game is scheduled to tip-off at 6pm at the Oak Tree Leisure Centre.

Mansfield Giants’ women lost 64-34 at Sefton Starlights on Sunday.

On Saturday they are at home to Nottingham Wildcats II (4pm).