Plymouth Raiders moved themselves level with the Surrey Heat in fourth position after a comprehensive 71-99 victory at One Health Sharks Sheffield on Friday night.
The opening quarter saw both teams trading baskets throughout with the lead changing hands on a number of different occasions. An Andrew Lasker basket with three minutes left in the period saw the visitors open up a healthy six point advantage at 26-20, but baskets from Mike Tuck and Gage Daye saw the Sharks half the deficit by the end of the quarter as they trailed by three points at 29-26.
In the second quarter, the Raiders continued to maintain their advantage over their hosts, but could not shake off a resilient Sharks outfit as a three-pointer from Olu Babalola and a Zach Gachette basket trimmed the deficit down to a single point at 38-37 with 5:26 remaining in the half.
However, this was as close as the home side would get however as the visitors sought to end the half strongly thanks to a 10-4 finish to head into the locker rooms leading 48-41 at the half.
In the second half, the visitors maintained their advantage throughout the third quarter, but they were still unable to pull away from a Sharks and when a Babalola three-pointer got the home side to within two points at 55-53, it looked like that might just be the case, but a Matt Schneck basket sparked the Raiders into life as they bagged a 16-6 tear to re-assert their authority on the game and took the score out to 71-59 with less than a minute remaining in the period.
The visitors held onto that 12 point advantage at the end of the quarter thanks to a Michael Ojo basket to send them into the final stanza leading 73-61.
In the final quarter, the Sharks tried valiantly to get themselves back into the contest, but the Raiders ended the home side’s resilience as they enjoyed a 13-2 burst, with Jeremy Bell confirming their superiority late on.
n SHARKS: Daye 26, Babalola 16, Tuck 14, Gachette 5, Jemison 4, Williams/Bridge 2, Sing 1.