Rivers Hoopers were beaten 72-81 by a ruthless Kwara Falcons side on Thursday in Port Harcourt.
Hoopers forward, Buchi Nwaiwu scored 12 points and 7 rebounds the only player from the totally subdued home team to score in double digits.
Mojubaoluwa Oyeleye had a season high 33 points, with 4 rebounds while David Godwin contributed 14 points and 4 rebounds to lead his Falcons past the Hoopers.
Oyeleye throttled the Port Harcourt side both from the field goals and free throw line. Falcons got their bucket through him and he in turn did not fail to deliver at every given time.
The Falcons forward made 71.4% of his shooting, 6- of – 7 from the arc and only failing in two attempts of his 7 free throws.
The KingsMen lacked the firepower to match everything the Ilorin based side brought to the table. Hoopers struggled on defense, buckets and committing 22 turnovers in all. They shot 26.9%, 7 of 26 shots from the arc and 37.2% from the field.
The Port Harcourt side used 6-0 run to trim the deficit in the third quarter most notably is Friday Haruna’s half court shot taken at the sound of the buzzer putting an end to the third quarter.
The loss is the first on home court this season for Hoopers after 8 games played in Port Harcourt .
Rivers Hoopers head coach, Ogoh Odaudu admitted his opponents played better and deserved the victory.
“They have not played at home for a very long time and they are not used to the feeling of playing at home again. There was nothing we could have done to win this game today, If we play Kwara Falcons for 10 quarters, Kwara will beat us for 10 quarters,” said Odaudu.
“It is just one of those days. They have shown they are superior to us at this point of the season. We are going to go back and play our last game against them next month in Kwara and hopefully we shall return the compliment,” Odaudu promised.
On his part, Kwara Falcons coach Adewunmi Aderemi congratulated his players for the victory.
“It is a great team, one of the best in this country right now. For me to win this type of team at this stage of the season, I will applaud my players for that,” said Aderemi.
“Right now it means we are getting coordinated and we understand what to do at a particular time.
“It is natural when you are playing at home, you are under pressure because a lot of people come out to watch you and you want to do your best in the process of doing your best, you mess yourself up,” Aderemi said about their opponents.
Hoopers will regroup and play host to Oluyole Warriors on Saturday in Port Harcourt.