Moycullen face a tricky assignment in Dublin on Saturday (3pm ) when they meet a Killester side that has suffered two defeats at the start of this season's basketball SuperLeague.
A powerhouse of Irish basketball, Killester will be in determined form to get their season on track, having lost to both Templeogue and Giffith Swords Thunder in their opening two games.
However SSE Airtricity Moycullen will travel in confidence. Although they were foiled by DCU Saints who escaped from the NUI Galway Kingfisher gym with a 76-74 win on Saturday, they fought back from a 14-point half time deficit.
Some early offensive tentativeness by Moycullen allowed DCU to race into a 10-point lead halfway through the first period.
Slowly but surely though, Moycullen started to come into the game with big men Paul Freeman and Joseph Tummon carrying the offensive load. Phil Lawrence-Ricks, Moycullen’s newest American acquisition, was able to shrug-off an early knock, returning to the game towards the end of the first and picking up a pair of scores and a pair of steals. At the end of the first, Moycullen were down 8.
The exchanges of the second period mirrored those of the first, with DCU again stifling the Moycullen offence and continuing to convert on the opposite end. Moycullen did eventually find some hard-earned scores through Lawrence-Ricks, Patrick Lyons and Dylan Cunningham, but the successful DCU offences continued, and after a trio of three-pointers by guard Eoin Darling, the Saints found themselves ahead by 14 at half time.
However Moycullen looked a different side in the third quarters as their offence began to click. Dylan Cunningham found success slashing to the basket, while Phil Lawrence-Ricks was able to connect on a couple of fadeaway jumpers. Excellent defence at the guard spot from Kyle Cunningham, capped by three-pointers from Lyons and Freeman, reduced the deficit to three.
Two late DCU free-throws edged DCU back to a five-point lead heading into the fourth, and a pair of quick scores from Martin Provizors extended the DCU lead to 10 once more. Moycullen upped their defensive intensity through Patrick Lyons and James Loughnane, while Tummon and Freeman contested rebounds on both ends, securing some vital second-chance attempts. After a couple of scores from Lawrence-Ricks and Tummon, Moycullen had cut the DCU lead to two.
Provizors once again kept the Dubliners in front before Lyons brought the Connemara men to four with 30 seconds left. Although Lawrence-Ricks drilled another to close the gap, he missed a last attempt from half way as time ran out..
SSE Airtricity Moycullen Top Scorers: Philip Lawrence-Ricks 18, Joseph Tummon 17, Paul Freeman 14.
SSE Moycullen: Kyle Cunningham, Stephen O’ Brien, Patrick Lyons, James Loughnane, Sean Candon, John Hackett, Joseph Tummon, Paul Freeman, Dylan Cunningham, Phil Lawrence-Ricks, Conor Curran, Paul O’ Brien, Rory Heffernan, Ladmy Sila, Joshua Mervesley. Coach: John Cunningham, asst coach: Gerald Lyons.