Friday 19th October 2018
DBL Sharks Sheffield 99 Radisson Red Glasgow Rocks 87
The midweek roll of the dice paid dividends for the DBL Sharks Sheffield as they managed to overcome the Glasgow Rocks by 99-87. The Sharks went to 3-3 and sixth position in the league on the back of 28 points from Chris Alexander and a breakout effort of 25 points from Matthew Don. There were limited minute debuts for Anthony Collins and Leslee Smith as thoughts now turn to a BBL Cup clash with holders Cheshire Phoenix.
Sharks: Tuck, Marsden, Alexander, Williams, Martin.
Rocks: Achara, Fraser, Pryor, Ndiaye, Carpenter.
An ‘and one’ play from Dirk Williams saw the Sharks into an 11-4 lead by the mid-point of the first period. The Sharks afforded the Rocks too much time at the perimeter to the end of the quarter; Ndiaye, Fraser, Achara and Murray (twice) all profiting as Glasgow closed the quarter up by 20-23.
Seven more points from GB international Murray took the Rocks out to a 30-37 lead by the middle of the second. A 14-4 run to the end of the half put the Sharks back on the high side. Skipper Mike Tuck was instrumental with some ‘in the face’ defence and six points to boot as the home side went to the locker rooms up by 44-41.
The third quarter was where the Sharks really broke out. Achara’s dunk at 50-49 sent the Sharks into a timeout with 6.20 left in the stanza. Out of the break, Chris Alexander hit back to back triples followed by a further trey from Dirk Williams at 61-53. Williams hit another three that was sandwiched by three distance scores from Matthew Don, sending his side into a 17 point lead at 75-58 with ten minutes left to play.
Eleven Rocks points drew them closer at 77-69. The ever-dangerous Murray connected on another three but technical fouls for Glasgow Coach Wood and Bo Ziegler signalled that the Rocks fightback was unravelling. The Sharks hit penalty trouble with 3.17 left in the game. Glasgow called an odd final timeout with 1.27 remaining before entering foul trouble themselves. A succession of trips to the charity stripe followed. Chris Alexander extended his streak to 42 out of 44 and Dirk Williams added a further six points as the Sharks managed out a very satisfying 99-87 win on the night.
There were successful debuts for Anthony Collins and Leslee Smith albeit on limited minutes understandably. Collins handed out seven assists to show his promise despite negligible practise time. Benefitting from the ‘appliance of science’ was the cryogenically-enhanced Mike Tuck. He racked up 15 first half points with 7 rebounds to kick start his side to victory. It gets almost boring but Dirk Williams didn’t receive the MVP award despite contributing 21 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists on 60% shooting. And while not unduly troubling the statisticians, a considerable mention must be made for the defensive effort put up by Mathew Martin, who switched between the three and four positions to stymy the offensive threat of Glasgow. The overall winners jointly were Chris Alexander and Matthew Don. Alexander understandably had the majority of the ball-handling duties but still contributed 28 points, 2 rebounds and 6 assists as well as a perfect 12 out of 12 from the line. It was a breakout game for Don. Used to a different style of play from his time in Spain, Don showed how good his stroke was for a big guy with four out of four from beyond the arc, finishing with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
While admitting they were far from the finished article, Coach Atiba Lyons declared himself pleased with the effort his revamped side displayed in achieving the win over Glasgow.