Sheffield Sharks remain winless in the BBL Championship as they went down 96-77 to unbeaten Leicester Riders at the EIS, writes Chris Lewis.
Leicester showed their quality late on, pulling away from a valiant Sheffield in the fourth quarter on the back of a big night from TrayVonn Wright. Wright scored 22 points and blocked three shots to help the Riders win by a flattering scoreline.
The game got off to an electric start with Riders star Wright throwing a monstrous dunk over a Sharks defender to send the away support into raptures. Colin Sing responded for Sheffield with two circus shots at the baseline. Both teams exchanged big runs at the start of the second quarter before Riders guard Neil Watson showed off his impressive range, firing in two three pointers to build a 35-28 lead.
Sharks came back again, capitalising on two big threes from Patrick Horstmann to score 11 points unanswered, forcing Riders to call timeout. Mike Cook made a brilliant shot at the halftime buzzer to give Sharks a 44-39 lead at the break.
Riders started out the second half well, levelling the score on the back of some impressive post play by Dzaflo Larkai. Sharks Mike Tuck reacted to his troubles defending Larkai by hitting a huge three to stem the Riders tide.
Sharks defensive rebounding troubles came back to bite them when Andrew Sullivan scored a three pointer on the back of a tough offensive board by Jamell Anderson. Sharks finished the third quarter down 67-60. A bad turnover from Larkai allowed Cook to cut Riders lead to three before a Bernardini circus shot helped put Riders 75-67 in front. Watson nailed a dagger three pointer, to help Riders pull away.
Sharks travel to Glasgow on Sunday again hoping to get their first win in the BBL Championship.