Durham Wildcats BBL Cup debut ended in defeat as they were beaten 88-74 by Plymouth Raiders in front of hopeful home fans on Saturday night.
The Wildcats hoped their first cup game as a top-flight side would be one to remember but now it will more than likely be forgotten.
The Raiders rubbished any chance of an underdog upset with a blistering first period to show they are seeking silverware this season.
Last season’s MVP Jeremy Bell scored 17 points on debut whilst the twin towers of Paul Williams and Anthony Rowe also racked up impressive numbers. Williams top scored with 19 personal and Rowe recorded a brilliant double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Marco Flaherty and Ralph Bucci also recorded respective double doubles but it was Durham’s Fred Hinnenkamp who led all scorers with 29 points.
Plymouth punished their opponents right from the tip off with an 11-0 burst to gain a healthy lead. At the end of the first period the Raiders were well ahead at 29-15.
Durham struggled offensively but stopping their opponents scoring proved to be even harder. The Raiders continued to use their muscle under the hoop with Rowe and Williams effectively scoring. Bell and James Jones were just as devastating from beyond the arc. Plymouth would continue this onslaught into the break gaining a massive lead of 45-27.
To their credit Durham didn’t give up and kept on fighting to trim the deficit. However, by the end of the third quarter, the Raiders were still in front at 68-53.
The Wildcats showed tremendous will and character as they kept battling to the final buzzer. But there would be no late drama as Durham failed to turn the game around with Gavin Love’s Plymouth through to the next round.