SHEFFIELD Sharks were made to suffer in the second night of their back-to-back weekend on Saturday.
After a good win on Friday at home against Mersey Tigers, the Sharks never looked like troubling title contenders Plymouth Raiders in Devon.
Player-coach Atiba Lyons said his team didn’t do enough to stay in the match: “It would have been a tough game anyway, but first half we didn’t do a good job on the offensive glass. They’re probably the best rebounding team in the BBL. We didn’t close possessions out. We just needed a couple more stops early on but we let them get in a run and score easy points.”
Raiders started the game with a 20-7 surge including nine points from reigning BBL MVP Jeremy Bell. The Sharks managed to close the gap to 25-16 by the end of the quarter.
But Plymouth began the second period by extending their lead to 12 points and they continued to build to 52-34 at half time.
The Raiders dominance continued in the third as former Shark Paul Williams scored seven and Anthony Rowe scored six as the Raiders lead ballooned to 23 points.
Mike Tuck found his touch in the fourth quarter with 15 points as the Sharks fought back to outscore the Raiders 33-22. But it wasn’t enough to get anywhere near a dominant Plymouth.
Lyons said: “We have only four senior guys available and we need them all to be firing if we’re going to win. We didn’t get going until it was too late.”
Sharks remain sixth in the table with eight regular season matches remaining – six at home, which should secure their play-off berth.
SHARKS: Patton 23, Langhurst 20, Tuck 19, Babalola 13, Anderson 4, Gachette 2, Sing 1.