Monday 7th December 2020
BBL Cup Group Stage
Leicester Riders 61 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 87
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks rounded off their BBL Cup campaign with a comfortable 61-87 win on the road at Leicester Riders. The home side took the opportunity to dig deep into their development programme but it was a useful win nonetheless with the Sharks sharing the minutes evenly and nurturing a breakout performance from forward Oscar Baldwin.
Riders: Jimenez, Hedley, Falzon, Fraser, Ndoukou.
Sharks: Lewis, Lillard, Koch, Nichols, Hemsley.
Despite the game being a dead rubber for the Sharks, there was much to be gained in terms of working on plays and getting minutes throughout the roster. Jeremy Hemsley again shone in the opening stages and his three put the Sharks ahead by 14-16. Mike Tuck followed suit and then came up big with an ‘and one’ score to make it 14-22. Johde Campbell concluded the quarter with a useful reverse as the period ended 14-24.
Joe Bielak opened the second for Leicester with a trey but an Oscar Baldwin dunk at 17-26, followed by a terrific block on Great Britain forward Ally Fraser showed the Sharks strength in depth. Antwon Lillard took over for the rest of the quarter – he poured in 12 points as the Sharks finished the half up by 31-48.
Johde Campbell took up where he left off on Sunday afternoon, raining threes on his former Charnwood and Leicester team-mates as the score rode out to 39-58. However, the Riders ended up taking the quarter by 21-19 on the back of impressive shooting from new signing Aaron Falzon and a late corner three from Louie Jordan.
The Sharks pushed out the 52-67 scoreline to 54-76 on the back of successful shots from downtown from Lewis, Nichols and Lillard. Baldwin came up with his second big dunk of the night on the back of a Campbell assist at 58-84 and despite Jimenez concluding matters from beyond the arc, a 61-87 result proved to be a profitable night for the Sharks.
With the minutes being shared evenly across the roster, there was the now regular flirt with a double-double from Antwon Lillard, who top scored with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Jeremy Hemsley shot another efficient 62% to finish with 16 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Johde Campbell took up where he left off on Sunday afternoon, again bringing the energy with 14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals…and a smart new haircut to boot! But for a breakout performance, gleaned across a career high 25.32 minutes, Oscar Baldwin took the award on the night. His 8 points included a couple of monster dunks on 57% shooting and his block on Great Britain’s Fraser was worth the admission fee alone.
Coach Lyons spoke of the efforts of his younger players.
Skipper Mike Tuck spoke of utilising the whole roster in a useful outing for the Sharks.
‘Obviously tonight wasn’t what we were expecting but it was a great opportunity to give our young guys some good minutes. It was great to see Johde build off the success that he had on Sunday with another solid all round game. Oscar Baldwin got some good minutes and continues to develop. Situations like this help build their confidence. We love to see it!’
Leicester Riders v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Friday 11th December 2020, Morningside Arena, 8pm Tip Off.