On The Buzzer: Sharks & Lions reach top and Rocks beat Nix

There’s now a three-way battle of teams on 8-2 records at the top of the BBL Championship table, and Glasgow prove that age old saying about buses, as they finish off the weekend with a second away win after waiting weeks for just the one.

United @ Lions

Despite a hopeful start, Surrey United succumb to the dominant London Lions, 101-67, and the home side now join Newcastle Eagles at the top with a .800 record in the BBL Championship.

United kept matters close in the first quarter, only a point down 17-16, but a huge second quarter with tough defence and better shooting from Vince Macaulay’s men which opened up a 24 point gap.

The second half painted a similar picture for the two southern teams, as Lions once more edged the third, before rounding off a comfortable win in the last.

48 points came off the bench for Lions, which included a double-double from Nick Freer (23 pts, 10 rbs). Ceslovas Kucinskas was Surrey’s top scorer on 26 points, but did not have a great night with his boards compared to previous games this season.

The defeat also sees Surrey return back to the bottom of the table.

Rocks @ Phoenix

It was a third quarter riot for Glasgow Rocks, scoring six consecutive three-pointers coming out from the half-time break which helped secure them a winning weekend on the road as they run out 102-90 winners over Cheshire Phoenix.

A strong start by Rocks almost saw them control the game from the outset, but Phoenix kept their focus initially and in the second quarter pulled the lead back for a brief period.

However, the magnificent shooting display from outside the arc by Glasgow left many at the Northgate lost for words. It must be said that Phoenix again tried to eat into the deficit, which did not go unnoticed by player-coach Sterling Davis, who steadied his side after a timeout late in the quarter, and personally restored a 15 point advantage going into the final ten minutes.

Phoenix did put up yet another fight as the clock ticked down, but any chance of a comeback was put to bed as Gareth Murray took Rocks over the 100-point barrier.

Victor Moses had an astounding individual performance, with another double-double this campaign, leading all scorers with 31 points and adding 15 boards into the mix, as his team-mate Reggie Middleton also made a double-double of 16 points and 11 assists.

The starting five for Rocks all made double figure scoring on their way to victory, Daniel Northern grabbing 21 points and 14 rebounds, but EJ Harrison top-scored for the visitors with 25 points, 15 of those coming from beyond the perimeter making 83% of his shots from that distance.

Full report on this game here from Rob Jeffries.

Sharks @ Giants

Overtime was needed for Sheffield Sharks to seal the head-to-head series over Manchester Giants, 91-79, and join the Lions and Eagles in a share of the lead in the league.

Da’Quan Cook helped give Sharks a 22-10 lead but Giants put together a 10-5 run to help close the gap to 27-20 in the first quarter.

A low scoring second period saw Jeff Jones’ side cut their visitors’ lead slightly to six at 35-41. Despite the¬†Sharks going 47-37 up early in the third quarter, Stefan Gill kept his cool and helped get his team in to the lead at 52-50. The Yorkshire side saw the score swing back in their favour¬†but a 6-0 close for Manchester had them go 64-59 into the last period of regulation play.

Fighting back from seven points down at one stage in the final quarter, Patrick Horstmann’s efforts gave Sharks the lead by three, only for David Aliu to hit back with one of his own with just 13 seconds in normal time.

Horstmann was on call for in overtime, and added with BJ Holmes’ haul of seven, Sheffield took the win in confident fashion when the pressure was really on.

David Aliu was the stand out figure for the Giants with 28 points, a game high across all scorers, but Mike Tuck was the pick of the bunch for Sheffield, with a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds.

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