04 Jan 14: Riders 75-69 Sharks

05.01.2014

BBL Championship

Leicester Riders 75 (14,35,44,60,66) (Hassan 22, Sullivan 14, Couisnard 13)

One Health Sharks Sheffield 69 (15,33,45,60,66) (Tuck 17, Holmes 15, Simmons 14)

Leicester Riders moved back to the top of the BBL Championship after holding off One Health Sharks in a double-overtime thriller in the East Midlands.

The teams were level at 60-60 at the end of regulation and 66-66 after the first extra period before holding the Sharks to just three points in the second overtime stanza.

Jay Couisnard's three gave Riders a 69-66 lead and Leicester finished with a 4-0 burst to seal the match and the season head-to-head over third placed Sharks.

As expected the game was a tense affair at the John Sandford Centre. Riders had the first lead of significance at 12-8 after a 6-0 run but Sharks responded with a BJ Holmes three to end the period on a 7-2 burst as they led 15-14.

Sharks carried on their tear in the early part of the second quarter to lead 21-16 on a Jeremie Simmons two but Riders put together an 8-0 run to go 24-21 up.

The lead changed hands several times before half time with Riders going into the locker rooms at the interval 35-33 in front thanks to Jamell Anderson's three.

Sheffield had the better of the third period and looked to be heading into the fourth quarter with a four point lead before Harrison Gamble drained a three at the buzzer to make it 45-44.

Neither team led by more than three points in the final period and a two point advantage for both sides was the largest lead in the first overtime.

Eventually the reigning champions proved slightly stronger to clamp down on the Sharks at the vital moment.

Rashad Hassan led all-scorers with 22 points for Leicester. Sharks skipper Mike Tuck was his team's leading scorer with 17.