Sharks refuse to take it easy on Riders

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A rousing second half performance by the Sharks saw them through to a comfortable 76-64 win over Leicester Riders last night at the EIS.

It was the second consecutive Friday the teams have met after the bad-tempered affair last week.

And while the match occasionally threatened to boil over it was a far more relaxing evening for Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons once his team had broken the match open with a devastating third quarter run.

With the score tied at 41-41 the Sharks closed the period with a 21-4 run.

Centre Paul Williams only scored four points in that burst but the big American was superb all game with his dominance under the basket enabling the Sharks backcourt overcome a poor shooting night.

Taking a 62-47 lead into the fourth quarter the Sharks never allowed their advantage to dip below double-digits.

Any lingering Riders resistance was ended by Marcus Stout who made it 74-62 with two minutes remaining.

Sharks had somehow managed to reach half time holding a one point lead (37-36) despite playing some of their most inconsistent basketball of the season.

The usually reliable Mike Tuck missed five free throws as Sharks squandered easy points from the foul line.

And just two made three-point shots – both in the opening 90 seconds of the match – were followed by nine misses.

While the Sharks were playing without rhythm they made up for it with heart. After frittering away a 17-11 first quarter lead to trail 19-21 at the break they opened the second period with a 10-4 run.

Riders responded to go 34-36 ahead but a Paul Williams free throw and a Tuck two gave Sheffield a slender advantage at the interval.

Sharks scorers: Dagostino 17, Williams 16, Stout 13, Babalola 12, Tuck 11, Patton 6, Lyons 1.