SHEFFIELD Sharks threw away a match-winning position as they capitulated in the fourth quarter on the road at London Lions.
Leading by 19 points late in the third quarter the Sharks, who had American forward Demetrius Jamison making his debut, contrived to allow the Lions to score the final five points of the period and then to overrun them in the final period.
Outside the play-off positions after a slow start to the BBL Championship season the Sharks were quickly into their stride at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre with a 7-0 burst to put themselves in control at 7-2.
And they extended their advantage to 15-8 midway through the first quarter on Jamison’s first points in a Sharks vest.
Lions were swift to respond and cut the Sharks lead to 15-14. Sharks were still only 18-16 in front until a 5-1 burst to close the period put them 23-17 on top.
Colin Sing gave Sharks their first double digit margin with a two to make it 27-17 and Sheffield looked comfortable up to the half time interval as Sing and fellow Sheffield Hallam University student Zach Gachette continued to show their growing maturity in the BBL.
Two free throws from Sing made it 32-20 and despite Lions trimming the deficit back to five the Sharks once again pulled away courtesy of an Olu Babalola three to make it 39-29 at half time.
Sheffield dominated the third quarter to see their lead peak at 60-41 on a Williams two and at that point it was difficult to predict that the match would once again be a contest. Lions 5-0 run to close the quarter gave the home side some hope at 60-46 and they continued to press after the final break. Lions were incessant with their pressure on the Sharks and levelled the match at 66-66.
Andrew Bridge briefly put Sharks back in front with a three point play but London with a 12-1 run to stun the beleaguered Sheffield players.
SHARKS: Williams 20, Babalola 15, Tuck 9, Gachette 8, Bridge 5, Jamison 5, Sing 4, Daye 4.