One Health Sharks Sheffield 72 (22,41,56) (Jemison 14, Tuck 13, Simmons 13)
Glasgow Rocks 77 (25,35,58) (Davis 24, Harrison 21, Northern 12)
Glasgow Rocks made it five wins in six games, and recorded only their third road win of the season, as they beat One Health Sharks Sheffield 72-77 in the first meeting of the teams this campaign. It was the Sharks’ first home defeat and first league defeat in five, compounding a difficult week as, first, they exited the BBL Cup at the semi-final stage, and now they have been toppled from the summit of the BBL Championship table.
Player/coach Sterling Davis inspired the Rocks with 24 points against his former team, shooting 73% from the field and 3/3 from three-point range, supported by EJ Harrison’s 21. The Sharks shot only 1/18 from beyond the arc on the night.
The game wasn’t settled until the dying stages, despite the Rocks posting an early 12-2 surge to startle their hosts, with a three-pointer from Harrison and an old-fashioned three-point play from Davis giving them the momentum. Davis and Gareth Murray added further triples as the lead grew, but that belied what became a very tight game. The pendulum swung towards the Sharks before the end of the first as they narrowed the gap with scores from Patrick Horstmann, Jeremie Simmons and Nick Lewis in the final minute, to see the quarter finish 22-25 in what was a 10-2 response from the hosts.
And the Sharks carried that momentum into the second stanza as they took the lead with a 7-3 start, with five of those points coming from Mike Tuck. But from that point the teams could barely be separated as they were split by no more than one shot for more than eight minutes, until six unanswered points, capped by Tuck who had 11 first half points, helped the Sharks to a half time advantage at 41-35. The Sharks were doing all of their work on the inside, with 12 points from the Rocks’ seven turnovers and 24 points in the paint, but no first half three-pointers.
Both teams dug in during the second half as six points was the largest margin that either team could manage. That came from the Rocks as they produced the key run in a 15-4 scoring spell over five third quarter minutes, with four points from Davis making the score 52-58. And they held their lead for much of the fourth quarter, despite twice being level and one stumble as a pair of Demetrius Jemison free-throws gave the hosts a one-point lead.
The Rocks showed great composure at the end of the game to see of the Sharks’ push. Down the stretch, with the Rocks back up by three, BJ Holmes cut it to one point with a tough lay-up, during which he was fouled. But he missed the free-throw and that seemed to sap any momentum from the hosts. EJ Harrison hit back with a three-pointer, and five points in a row, to see the Rocks lead 66-72 heading into the final minute, and they saw the game out from the free-throw line.