SHEFFIELD Sharks set out the case for the defence after extending their winning run to five in a row last night at the English Institute of Sport.
The Sharks looked in danger against a Rocks team that are aiming to finish third in the BBL Championship.
But from trailing by six at 48-42 midway through the final quarter the Sharks clamped down at the defensive end to restrict Glasgow to just four points, three of which were from one shot by Brice Fantazia.
And while the stingy Sharks were breaking the Rocks at one end they began to find their range at the other.
BJ Holmes’s three started a 20-4 run up to the end of the match which earned Sheffield’s fifth win in just 11 days.
It left Sharks coach Atiba Lyons delighted with the way his team eventually came through for a victory that keeps alive faint hopes of finishing sixth.
He said: “It was an amazing defensive effort. We went straight man-to-man and held a good scoring team to 52 points. We contested most of their shots and we forced turnovers. I told the guys that if we can play defence then we’ll start making our shots and pulling away.”
Sharks had been in fine form in the first quarter with Holmes directing the offence. A 16-7 lead was eaten into by a 4-0 Rocks run but Holmes scored the last points of the period to give Sheffield an 18-11 advantage.
Glasgow were far better after the break as veteran guard EJ Harrison started a 12-2 burst that gave the visitors a 23-20 lead. Sheffield were having trouble containing the shooting threat of Donald Robinson as well as Harrison but it was mainly the Rocks suffocating defence that put Glasgow in control.
Sharks regained the lead with an 8-3 run that saw Demetrius Jemison, Nick Lewis, Holmes and Colin Sing all score but two free throws by Harrison sent the teams in level (28-28) at half time.
Rocks edged a tight third quarter with a 7-3 run to take a 40-37 lead into the fourth quarter but couldn’t stop the Sharks from dominating the last ten minutes.
* SHARKS: Holmes 20, Jemison 12, Tuck 11, Babalola 8, Lewis 5, Bridge 4, Sing 2.
* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler and Google+ follow Richard Fidler on Google+. For breaking news keep checking The Star website or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar