Basketball: Sharks 90 London Lions 63

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The Sharks moved safely through to the last eight of the BBL Cup with a 90-63 victory over London Lions last night at the EIS.

Again the Sharks were excellent defensively and they exploited a scrappy Lions team at the other end to seal a quarter-final home tie against Durham Wildcats.

The Lions, who had three new signings, Nick Freer, Ben Smith and Kramer Knutson, all in their line-up for the first time this season, countered Sharks 5-0 start with an 8-0 burst.

And they led 11-9 on a Knutson free throw before Sharks ended the first quarter with a 10-2 run to lead 19-13.

Colin Sing had scored the last four points for Sharks to close the opening 10 minutes and he set his team going again in the second as Sheffield seized control with a 16-4 run.

The physicality of London could have caused Sharks a problem but Atiba Lyons’ side were benefiting from familiarity while the visitors struggled to find a rhythm. Sheffield led 40-25 at half time but were quickly forced to call a time-out as Lions began the third quarter with a 7-2 burst.

However, it did the trick as Sharks turned on the style to build a commanding 65-45 advantage heading into the final period. Skipper Mike Tuck was to the fore as he waged a battle against the Lions forwards and came out very much on top.

And Lyons was afforded the luxury of putting on youngsters Matteo Murriero and Naphtali Nembhard in the closing moments.

Sharks scorers: Tuck 21, Simmons 14, Sing 11, Holmes 10, Babalola 9, Horstmann 8, Cook 7, Gachette 6, Lewis 4.