Sheffield Sharks season is over after they failed to overcome a big first leg deficit against Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Play-offs quarterfinals.
Sharks had suffered at the hands of the Eagles during the second quarter of the first leg in the north east as they allowed Newcastle to build up a big lead.
That advantage was 85-70 when the match tipped off at the EIS and the Eagles quickly made it a 20 point margin when Darius Defoe and Joe Chapman combined to make it 5-0.
Sharks had to remain patient and when Charles Smith’s three made it 11-6 to the visitors it sparked a 9-2 run to give Sheffield their first lead at 15-13.
Tuck extended it out to 19-13 before Eagles scored the final four points of the quarter.
Sharks hit the first four points of the second quarter but a 7-0 response from Newcastle gave them a 24-23 lead.
However a free throw from the inspirational Tuck began an 18-6 burst which brought Sheffield a 41-30 lead on the night and within four overall.
Demetrius Jemison looked to have made it 43-30 but was adjudged to have committed an offensive foul and Eagles’ 8-0 run to close the half undid much of Sharks good work.
The home team’s advantage at half time was 41-38, still down by 12 on aggregate.
Sharks were working hard to get closer to the Eagles and five quick points by Holmes saw them lead 52-47.
The introduction of player-coach Fab Flournoy for Newcastle changed the tie around as he niggled and frustrated Sheffield.
Heading into the final quarter Darius Defoe’s put back from a Flournoy missed free throw tied the score at 59-59.
Sheffield scored the first five points of the fourth quarter but once Smith had nailed a long three to make it 64-64 the task was too much for them.
* Sharks: Tuck 25, Holmes 20, Jemison 17, Babalola 11, Lewis 6, G Brownell 2.