Sunday 16th February 2020
Manchester Giants 87 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 106
The B. Braun Sharks sent themselves into the international break with a very professional 87-106 road win over Manchester Giants. The Sharks put up their biggest scoring half of the season to set up a win that takes them to sixth in the BBL Championship table with a 5-4 record.
Giants: Williams, Ulph, Bankevics, Jones C, Arques.
Sharks: McKnight, Cashaw, Koch, Marsden, Lewis.
The Sharks had the better of the opening exchanges. Mackey McKnight’s drive to the hoop opened up a 4-12 lead inside the first four minutes. Four points from Giants captain Callum Jones pulled them to within four and a pair of Arques free throws made that one better at 15-18. Bouna Ndiaye’s triple looked to have sealed a solid first quarter for the Sharks but a reply in kind from Manchester’s Ingus Bankevics saw the period end at 21-26.
That was about as good as it got for the Giants as Ndiaye opened the second stanza with another three. McKnight capped a 0-10 run with an ‘and one’ score at 21-36 and it took the veteran wiles of Manchester’s Yorick Williams to break the run with a three of his own. A corner three from Bankevics saw the Sharks taking time at 34-47 but with Giants Del’vin Dickerson picking up his fourth foul and his side in the penalty, a series of trips to the line saw the Sharks close the half at 40-57 – their highest scoring half of the season.
The Sharks polished display continued throughout the third quarter. Bennett Koch produced the most brutal slam at 47-65 and followed that up with another at 50-67. Despite Ronald Elksnis and James Jones dialling in from downtown for Manchester, the Sharks Connor Cashaw shot with unerring accuracy and Bouna Ndiaye’s wriggle to the hoop in the dying seconds saw the quarter close at 65-83.
The Sharks were able to give floor time to Nate Montgomery at point guard at the beginning of the fourth period as a neat Nick Lewis assist found Cashaw for yet another bucket. Lewis and Cashaw connected on triples as the score went out to 78-101 and there was even time for Eddy Brownell to drain one of his own as the contest concluded in a comprehensive 87-106 for the Yorkshire side.
Joining the dunkfest and putting up possibly his best display in a Sharks jersey was Bouna Ndiaye, who added a solid 15 points with 4 rebounds to an efficient team performance. Cleaning the glass and finding the hoop were Rob Marsden and Bennett Koch, who contributed 17 points each with 6 and 8 rebounds respectively. Mackey McKnight made a double-double of 12 points with an extremely noteworthy 10 assists. However the MVP award went the way of Connor Cashaw. He was successful on 8 of his 11 shots on his way to another statline stuffed with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
Sharks Coach Atiba Lyons was pleased with a professional display and spoke of useful contributions from the full suited-up roster as well as the eleven games to come.
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Manchester Giants, Friday 6th March 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm tip off.
March Madness Ticket Offer: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/march-madness-ticket-sale-tickets-95016794791