Leicester Riders moved themselves up into third position in the BBL Championship table thanks to a 74-64 victory over the One Health Sharks Sheffield at the John Sanford Centre on Saturday night.
An explosive start to the game from the visitors saw them open up an early 4-9 lead, but the Riders came back and them and closed the gap to three points thanks to a Bradd Wierzbicki free-throw. This only saw to spur the Sharks on as they rattled off a quick-fire 12-5 burst to take the score out to 12-22 midway through the quarter.
The home side tried valiantly to close the deficit before the end of the period and suceeded somewhat as they managed to get to within six points thanks to an 8-4 finish to end the quarter trailing 20-26.
In the second quarter both teams struggled somewhat to find the basket but the Sharks were able to keep their noses in front at 26-31 with 4:28 remaining in the half, but a Brett Royster basket helped the Riders find their shooting hands as they overturned the deficit to take the lead at 39-32 with 1:05 remaining. A Cameron Rundles basket to end the first half for the Riders saw the home side leading 43-36 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half the Sharks closed the deficit to three points early on at 43-40, but the Riders kept their noses in front thanks to a 15-5 burst to break the game open and extend their lead to 13 points at 58-45 and they held onto that advantage as they lead 60-47 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period the Sharks tried desperately to get themselves back into the contest but were unable to get any closer than nine points at 60-51 at the start of the quarter, but the Riders made the game safe as they enjoyed their biggest lead of the game at 73-56 off the back of the 6-0 tear midway through the stanza and they held on for the all-important victory.
A combination of Rundles and Ayron Hardy led the scoring for the Riders with 20 points a-piece, but Justin Dobbins led all scorers in the contest with 21 points for the Sharks in the defeat.