It was as you were at the top of the BBL Championship table after the two games on Friday night ended with victories for the top two sides in the League as both the Sheffield Sharks and the Newcastle Eagles picked up victories over the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders and PAWS London Capital respectively as their quest for the title continued in earnest.
Sheffield were made to work extremely hard by the Riders, but they eventually came away with a 100-86 victory at the EIS, Sheffield. The Riders had lead for the majority of the game and led by a point at 64-65 heading into the final stanza. In the final period, the Sharks began to take control of the game as the sides were locked in a fierce battle with the Sharks leading 73-71 midway through the period.
After this point, the home side took full control thanks to a 16-2 burst to take the score out to 89-73 with less than three minutes remaining. A further 9-2 Sharks tear made the game safe for the home side and maintained their two-point advantage at the top of the table.
The Eagles kept up the pressure on the Sharks but had to work a little less hard as they ran out convincing 112-66 winners over the London Capital at the Metro Radio Arena. After the visitors had taken an early 16-17 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles stormed back into the game and stamped their authority onto the game as they continually pressured their visitors into mistakes and capitalised on them.
The home side enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 48 points at 112-64 in the closing stages as they demonstrated their superiority and kept up their chase towards the top spot of the BBL Championship table.
Newcastle Eagles 112-66 PAWS London Capital
Newcastle Eagles 112 (16,43,80) (Smith 29, Chapman 27, Glen 21)
PAWS London Capital 66 (17,28,44) (Gariba 23, Mills/Janusaukas 14)
Newcastle Eagles kept up the pressure on the Sheffield Sharks at the top of the BBL Championship table thanks to a convincing 112-66 victory over the PAWS London Capital at the Metro Radio Arena on Friday evening. Both sides traded baskets throughout much of the first period, but it was the visitors who ended the quarter on top as they led by a single point at 16 -17 at the end of the first. In the second period however the Eagles took control of the game and began to extend their lead throughout the majority of the period before a 10-3 run from the Eagles to close out the first half helped them into a 43-28 lead heading into the locker rooms at the half. In the second half the Eagles started with a 14-4 burst to take the score out to 57-32 midway through the period. The home side extended their lead out to 40 points at 80-40 towards the end of the quarter, but the Capital bagged the final four points of the period to leave themselves trailing 80-44 heading into the final stanza. In the final quarter the Eagles continued to extend their lead and enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 112-64 as the game headed in the closing stages and the Eagles held on for the comfortable victory. Charles Smith led all scorers in the game as he netted 29 points for the Eagles, while Ibrahim Gariba led the scoring for the Capital with 23 points personal.
Sheffield Sharks 100-86 Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders
Sheffield Sharks 100 (21,45,64) (Cook 31, Patton 22, Toney 15)
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 86 (30,53,65) (Wierzbicki/Johnson 21, James 20)
Sheffield Sharks maintained their slender two-point advantage at the top of the BBL Championship table thanks to a come- from-behind 100-86 victory over the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders at the EIS, Sheffield on Friday evening. Both sides traded baskets in the opening stages of the first period, but with the scores tied at 18-18, the Riders finished off the period with a 12-3 burst to take a 21-30 lead into the second quarter. In the second period the home side got themselves back into the game after back-to-back three pointers from Mike Cook and Mike Tuck instigated a 16-6 burst, including twelve points from Cook personally, to give the Sharks a slender one-point lead at 41-40, but a 9-1 tear from the visitors handed back the lead to the Riders as both teams headed into the locker room with the visitors leading 45-53 at the half. In the second half the Riders started strongly and extended their lead out to eleven points at 52-63 midway through the third period, but they could not break the resilience of the home side as a three-pointer from Ryan Patton sparked a 12-2 finish to the quarter to leave the home side trailing by a single point at 64-65 heading into the final stanza. In the final period the Sharks took the lead at 73-67 early in the final period thanks to a succession of three three-pointers, but the Riders came back immediately with six points of their own to get the score back to 73-71, but the Sharks broke the game open thanks to a 16-2 burst to take the score out to 89- 73 heading into the closing stages of the game. A further 9-2 run for the Sharks as the game headed into the final minute made the game safe for the home side as they took the score out to 98-79 to seal the victory. Cook led all scorers in the game with 31 points personal for the Sharks, while a combination of Bradd Wierzbicki and Jason Johnson led the Riders scoring with 21 points a-piece.
BBL Championship Table
P W L PTS
1 Sheffield Sharks 23 19 4 38
2 Newcastle Eagles 23 18 5 36
3 Marshall MK Lions 17 12 5 24
4 Glasgow Rocks 19 12 7 24
5 Cheshire Jets 19 11 8 22
6= Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 21 11 10 22
6= Worthing Thunder 21 11 10 22
8 Everton Tigers 19 10 9 20
9 Guildford Heat 22 9 13 18
10 Worcester Wolves 18 6 12 12
11 Airwaves Plymouth Raiders 19 5 14 10
12 PAWS London Capital 18 3 15 6
13 Essex Pirates 21 3 18 6
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