Sheffield Sharks saw their top three hopes suffer a blow as they were agonisingly edged out at Plymouth Raiders.
The largest lead of the game was just seven points in an edgy contest where both sides knew how vital a victory was at this stage of the season.
But the Sharks’ failure to score during a three minute spell down the stretch in the fourth quarter allowed play-off chasing Plymouth to snatch the win.
In the final minute of play Sheffield managed to score eight points but it proved to be too little too late.
Plymouth player-coach Daryl Corletto hit four clutch free throws for the win.
His team were able to make three times as many three pointers, six to two, in the second half compared to Sheffield which allowed them to pull ahead.
Corletto highlighted Sheffield trio Jerrold Brooks, captain Mike Tuck and TJ Robinson as major threats and they combined for 32 points, five assists and 22 rebounds.
Young guard Kyle Odister also contributed 16 points, making four out of six three point attempts.
Raiders duo Corletto and Corey Dixon are second and third on the BBL Championship’s individual scorers list. Corletto scored 23 while Dixon earned game MVP with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Dixon only had eight points at the half but his void was filled by Adrien Stuart who supplied Plymouth’s first nine points of the game.
Sheffield’s chronically poor shooting from behind the arc since February continued. Excluding Odister, the team was just two from seventeen. It is the worst second half three point percentage of the season for the team.
Coach Lyons will take optimism in his team’s ability to score more field goals than their opponents, shooting a healthy 45 per cent. However they couldn’t get to the free throw line enough and were out-scored 20-8 in second chance points.