Ipswich Men fight hard but are beaten by league leaders Liverpool
NBL Division Two
Ipswich started brightly but were unable to contain unbeaten visitors Liverpool in an up-tempo contest on Saturday.
The game began well for the hosts, with Liverpool struggling early on and Ipswich making a solid start offensively. Eivydas Aleksa and Ethan Price combined for 15 points in the first quarter as Ipswich’s strong shooting from outside the three-point line enabled them to take an early advantage.
From there on, however, Liverpool fought their way back into the game before taking over in the second half. The visitors’ disciplined ball pressure proved effective in limiting Ipswich’s fast-break, and although both sides racked up a large number of turnovers (combining for a remarkable 59), it was Liverpool who were able to benefit from them more consistently.
League leaders Liverpool maximised their size advantage in the second half too, dominating the rebounds at both ends of the floor.
Having seen a five-point first quarter lead turned into a seven-point deficit by half time, Ipswich started slowly in the second and had to rally later in the quarter to reduce the gap to 14.
Cameron Hawes and Veron Eze were scoring consistently for Ipswich but David Ulph had taken over for Liverpool, on his way to a game-high 32 points and 14 rebounds.
Despite a brief run from Ipswich early in the fourth quarter Liverpool were able to put the game to bed and racked up the advantage late on as Ipswich head coach John Ellis turned to his bench.
Price finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Ipswich. Eze added 16, and Aleksa chipped in another 13. Former Ipswich junior Tyme Regent-Bascombe racked up 17 points for the visitors.
“This was always going to be a tough game against a disciplined and very talented side, but we made things harder for ourselves by not taking care of the ball,” admitted coach Ellis.
“I felt that we were still in the game after three quarters, but they showed their talent late on and they’re undefeated for a reason.”
Ipswich now face two straight games against the division’s other undefeated team, Myerscough College, as their difficult start to the season continues.