Sheffield Sharks fell just short of a rare league win over Leicester Riders tonight, but ran the British Basketball League leaders mightily close to go down 98-92 after double overtime at EIS Sheffield.
Sharks, on the back of another dramatic game - Wednesday’s 86-86 tie in the first leg of Sheffield’s BBL Trophy semi-final against Worcester - were winless in five league encounters with the Riders going into this one.
But Atiba Lyons’ side hit the floor running with purpose and precision - every Sharks player bar one who made it on court chipped in with crucial points to put Sheffield up 24-15 at the end of Q1. However, the visitors hit back to lead 42-38 lead at the half.
Sharks wouldn’t lie down, though, and were 54-53 up going into the final quarter. A rollercoaster fourth period saw both sides edge ahead before an all-important Mackey McKnight triple and a missed Leicester shot meant overtime would be needed.
Yet separated they could not be, leading to another additional period. Sharks edged in front 88-83, but Leicester hit back, a 7-2 run taking them into the lead before they withstood intense pressure to win.
Sharks will need to recover quickly. Up next is a BBL Trophy semi-final second leg against Worcester Wolves at EIS Sheffield on Sunday, with the scores level from the first leg.