READING Rockets (6-3) made it back-to-back NBL Division One victories with a hard-fought 76-71 victory at Nottingham Hoods.

In a scrappy game littered with too many mistakes for head coach Alan Keane’s liking, Rockets got off to a good start with an 11-4 opening five minutes as Sydney Donaldson, AJ Carr and captain Danny Carter imposed themselves.

However, Hoods took a time-out and went on a 17-4 run to move ahead 21-15, and while both teams hit their only trebles of the first half, Hoods kept their advantage at four points at 35-31 at the interval.

The early exchanges in the third quarter saw both teams keeping tabs on each other, but Hoods maintaining their four point lead until a steal, coast-to-coast and finish from Trae Pemberton turned the heat up and Rockets went on a 11-0 run to lead 49-44.

More excellent team play saw Academy student Arinze Emeka- Anyakwo swish a treble from the top of the key, but again Hoods fought back and hit four free throws to see the period end in Rockets’ favour at 56-52.

Adrian O’Sullivan’s first treble of the game gave Rockets a double-digit advantage at 63-53, however Hoods’ Aaron Maher – who had not scored in the first 20 minutes of his court time – came alive with four consecutive trebles to draw the scores level at 65-65. With O’Sullivan forced off injured, 16-year-old David Chive stepped up to the line and scored from both the free throws.

Hoods kept pace with Rockets and with a second less than two minutes remaining, the scores were tied at 69-69.

Rockets’ experienced players stepped up to the mark in the end game scenario, though, taking down defensive rebounds, driving and drawing fouls, using the clock wisely to keep control and finish with a 7-2 run to move up to fifth with another victory.

Top scorers for Rockets were Carr with 22 points, Pemberton with 16 and Donaldson with 15.

Reading Rockets have a home double-header this weekend, hosting Loughborough Student Riders on Saturday and Essex Leopards on Sunday.

Both games start at 5pm and are at Rivermead Leisure Complex.