Durham Wildcats 73
Sheffield Sharks 88
SHEFFIELD Sharks dug deep to show the resolve that may be key in turning around their season last night at Durham Wildcats.
After being handed a lesson on Friday night in the BBL Cup semi-final first leg against Leicester they travelled north hoping to pick up a much needed league victory.
Deprived of the services of shooting guard Micah Williams through a hip injury and power forward Demtrius Jemison because of a one-match suspension carried over from his ejection at London Lions last month the Sharks had to hand responsibility to youngsters Nick Lewis and Zach Gachette.
And with new point guard BJ Holmes battling with foul trouble all match it required a big effort from Mike Tuck, who played all 40 minutes, to see the Sharks through to a comfortable victory.
Sheffield raced into a 17-6 lead on Tuck’s dunk before finishing the quarter 23-13 up.
Durham responded to close the gap to 30-25 midway through the second period before the Sharks pulled away again before half time.
A Lewis three made it 35-27 to settle Sheffield nerves and then with the last shot before the interval he drained another triple to hand Sharks a 44-34 lead at the interval.
Durham pulled within 48-41 in the third quarter but Sheffield wouldn’t allow them any closer. A Tuck three made it 51-46 and two free throws from another young talent, Colin Sing, maintained the 15 point margin at 53-48 before Sharks ended the period 64-50 on top. The closest Durham could get in the final period was 70-62 but an 18-8 Sharks run put the match to bed to seal Sheffield’s third league win of the season.
SHARKS: Tuck 27, Holmes 16, Lewis 16, Gachette 10, Babalola 7, Sing 6, Lyons 4, Bridge 2.