Plymouth Raiders booked their place in the BBL Cup semi finals with a tight 85-83 over the Sheffield Sharks on Friday night.
Paul Williams hit the game-winning shot against his former side to round off a brilliant double double performance of 17 points and 13 rebounds. Despite that impressive performance, Jeremy Bell stole the show claiming the top scoring honours with 29 points.
The two sides were inseparable in the opening five minutes exchanging blow for blow with Bell edging his team in front briefly at 9-8. Then the home side responded with an 11-4 streak to lead after the first ten minutes by 21-18.
Gavin Love’s Plymouth intensified their defence in the second quarter to keep the game close but the Sharks still led at 32-27 with five minutes until the break. The sharks went on another blistering 13-7 run to lead by one heading into the locker rooms.
Lehmon Colbert worked well with Bell to combine for 26 points in the first half and continued his great performance after the break. A basket from him pulled his side back in front at 46-47.
Raiders began to pile the pressure on as a 15-6 burst saw them run away with the lead heading into the final stanza. Michael Ojo extended that lead into the final period with a nice three pointer but the home side wouldn’t give up that easy.
GB guard Nate Reinking who finished with 25 points, was determined to regain advantage for his side. With some impressive shooting he managed to trim the deficit at 81-77.
The tension was mounting as neither team managed to score in the next minute. Trailing by two points at 81-83, Sharks had the ball at half court with 20 seconds with an opportunity. Jimmy Langhurst was fouled and sent to the line. He coolly scored both shots from the stripe to tie the game.
Williams then made the big play. He strongly pulled down an important offensive rebound in the dying seconds and posted the devastating final score to send his former teammates crashing out of the competition.