Last-ditch win keeps Sharks title hopes alive

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Sharks captain Adrian Anderson was the hero as they kept their BBL Championship title hopes alive with a 92-93 overtime win at Guildford Heat.

Sheffield overcame losing Marcus Stout to an ankle injury and saw Paul Williams and Olu Babalola foul out but made the most of some poor free throw shooting from Heat to steal the win.

Trailing by five in the final 30 seconds of regulation a three-point shot from Ryan Patton and another on the buzzer by Steve Dagostino, were enough to send the match into an extra period after Guildford’s Julius Joseph could only make one of two from the free throw line.

And when Joseph missed two more free throws in the extra period, Anderson, who has struggled all season with injury and illness, split his free throws to give Sharks the narrowest of victories.

On the second night of a back-to-back weekend the Sharks wasted no time in establishing Paul Williams as an inside presence. The American centre scored his team’s first six points but it was Guildford who held the lead for the majority of the first quarter.

Martel McLemore gave Heat a 19-18 advantage. However, Patton made a three and Olu Babalola added a two to put Sharks 19-23 ahead.

Sharks dominated the opening of the second quarter. Babalola scored four points and Marcus Stout three in an 11-6 run, which gave them their biggest lead of the first half (25-34).

Heat stayed close by using the three-point shot and levelled at 40-40. Two free throws by Mike Tuck put Sharks 40-42 on top at the interval.

Sharks again moved out to a decent sized lead in the third quarter (47-55). And again the Heat responded. Julius Joseph and Mike Martin started and finished a 12-2 tear with threes to give Guildford a 59-57 lead.

Sheffield had the last word, though, with a Babalola three on the buzzer making it 62-67. After Sharks 67-76 lead was tied at 78-78 and 81-81 it looked as though the home side had done enough when Joseph put them 86-81 ahead. But Joseph could only make one more point from the line as Patton and Dagostino sent the game into overtime.

Sharks scorers: Dagostino 21, Williams 20, Stout 18, Babalola 12, Patton 9, Tuck 8, Lyons 4, Anderson 1.