Drane takes the positives despite defeat away at Loughborough

Ipswich's Leigh Greenan drives in the defeat at Loughborough

Ipswich's Leigh Greenan drives in the defeat at Loughborough - Credit: Archant

Ipswich experienced their first taste of losing this season after a lacklustre performance saw them go down 67-64 away at Loughborough Riders in the Patrons Cup.

Ipswich Taner Adu fights off a double team at Loughborough

Ipswich Taner Adu fights off a double team at Loughborough - Credit: Archant

The Suffolk side spent much of the game looking like a team in cruise control, and were caught out by a hungry, energetic and fired up Loughborough squad.

Despite the poor result, Ipswich coach Nick Drane still felt there were some positives to take away from the game.

He said: “We set some specific goals in terms of improvement on last week’s game against King’s Lynn and I felt that we did a good job of getting better in certain areas.

“What we didn’t do is maintain our standards in other areas.”

Drane was talking specifically about the team improvement at the defensive end, where they held Loughborough to 20 points less than they did against King’s Lynn.

However, the team was beaten in the rebounding battle for the first time and Drane was quick to point out that this is an area that the team can’t afford to switch off in.

Josh Johnson leaps for a lay-up at Loughborough

Josh Johnson leaps for a lay-up at Loughborough - Credit: Archant

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“We hang our hat on being a big, physical team,” he said.

“There is no excuse for us to be out-rebounded by anybody.

“Credit to Loughborough, they were full of energy and made us look lazy and slow – they had 18 offensive rebounds to our five.”

There certainly were some bright spots for the visitors though.

Sam Newman was again red-hot from three-point land, connecting on four out of eight from downtown to top score with 16 points.

Josh Johnson put together another absurd all-round stat line with ten points, 14 rebounds and seven assists while Grant Bangs put together a solid performance as he continues to work his way into the rotation.

Fellow new signing Taner Adu added 12 points.

For Loughborough it was all about BBL player Raheem May-Thompson.

The 6ft 6ins forward collected a game high 29 points to go with rebounds as he almost single handedly took Ipswich apart, leading Loughborough to a well deserved 67-64 win.

While disappointed with the defeat, Drane was quick to point out that his team are still gelling ahead of the start of the Division Two league season next month.

He said: “This is the Patrons Cup, for most teams a pre-season competition – we have said all along that we wanted to use these games to iron out any problems we have and find our rhythm ahead of another tough season.

Today, I thought we were pretty poor by our standards, and even so, we had a three-pointer miss on the buzzer to take the game to overtime.

“Had we gone on to win the game we would have come away saying how it was a good win on the road.

“Because we lost people are far more likely to take a good look at themselves – that’s a good thing.”

Ipswich play a double-header at home next weekend. They entertain Nottingham Hoods on Saturday in the Patrons Cup and on Sunday they square off against Division One heavyweights Hemel Storm in the second round of the National Cup. Both games tip-off at 4:45pm.

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