Loughborough Student Riders 82 Bradford Dragons 88

Bradford Dragons 104 Barking Abbey 52

BRADFORD Dragons beat two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum over their double header weekend to keep their unbeaten record intact.

On Saturday, they visited last season's National Basketball League Division One winners, Loughborough Student Riders, and won 88-82 in overtime, before thrashing third-tier Barking Abbey 104-52 at home in the National Cup Third Round.

Title contenders Loughborough won their opening fixture 72-66 at Team Newcastle University but Bradford had triumphed too, 103-91 against Nottingham Hoods, and they started on fire here.

Ricky Fetske and Andreas Lycoudis both netted threes to give the Dragons an early 9-0 lead and they reached the first buzzer 17-14 in front.

A disastrous second quarter saw the visitors miss shots and gift turnovers aplenty though and Loughborough raced into a 42-31 lead at the halfway stage.

The Riders went 17 ahead midway through the third quarter. but a couple of threes by Drexler Clark, followed by one from Lycoudis, placed the Dragons just 60-55 behind.

In the final quarter, a foul saw Rihards Šulcs sink two shots from the line to put the Dragons ahead but Loughborough struck back to go 75-66 ahead with just four minutes left.

The experienced Šulcs and Fetske pulled the deficit back to three and with just 36 seconds remaining, Joaquín Calvo's long-distance attempt tied the game at 76-76.

The wind had gone from Loughborough’s sails by overtime and the Dragons pulled off the 88-82 win to go top of Division One.

Šulcs topped the Bradford scorers with 19 points, adding 11 rebounds to record a double-double, while Fetske achieved the same feat with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The following day, the Dragons welcomed Barking and in an unbalanced game, they led 52-29 by half-time. They eased further ahead as the game progressed, sealing their place in the next round with a huge 104-52 victory.

Bradford will now face the winners of the fixture between Greenwich Titans and Worthing Thunder.

Šulcs led the scoring, with 33 points, while Clark and Calvo both contributed 17 apiece. The latter's efforts earned him the official University of Bradford Player of the Game award.

Allie Fullah also impressed, registering a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Following the weekend's action, Mellor reflected: “Against Loughborough, we started well but then got outplayed for twenty minutes and I was pretty happy to go in only down eleven at the half.

"Things didn’t get much better in the third but we managed to hang around enough and dug ourselves out again late on to finally get the momentum when it mattered.

“Against Barking, it was an easy win against a very young team, but it's nice to get another two wins on the weekend.”

The Dragons welcome Manchester Magic to the Den this Saturday. Bradford came out on top when the sides met in the National Trophy last month and they will be keen to do the same again. Tip off is at 6:15pm.