B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 86-91 London Lions (11-21, 41-43, 55-68)
19 January 2020 – Ponds Forge, Sheffield
The London Lions claimed a five point win on the road in Sheffield, 86-91 meaning they have taken both League encounters against the steel city side.
The Lions had made an explosive start as Ovie Soko opened the scoring on an and-one play, before veteran Mike Tuck opened the Sharks account. Jules Dang-Akodo then sparked a 9-2 run eventually cut by Tuck once more at 7-12. It was the Soko – Tuck show as they went 4-6 in the Londoner’s favour before Dang-Akodo and Ali Tew ended the quarter for Lions, ahead 11-21.
Having had a rough loss on the road, the Sharks were going to fight in this one and opened up the second quarter 8-3 run to move to within 5 at 19-24. Andre Lockhart and Soko combined to score and Sam Toluwase nailed a triple and the lead was back out to 21-30. It was nip and tuck after that before a 5-0 Sharks finish closed the gap yet again to 41-43 at half time.
The Sharks struggled coming out of the locker room for the third period, as Lions managed to rack up an 18 point lead, three straight triples from the reigning League MVP, Justin Robinson, the highlight forcing a timeout from Atiba Lyons. The Sharks began fighting back in the fourth.
A 10 point deficit with 2 minutes to play at 73-83 saw Lions miss 7 free throws before Robinson iced it with a pair at the end to give Lions their eighth Championship win.
GB International Ovie Soko also managed to pick up his third double-double since joining the Lions, with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Whilst Robinson’s shooting was sublime, 69% from the field, 60% from the three point line. Ogo Adegboye made his debut as he played 13 minutes and had 3 points 1 block and 4 rebounds.
Report; Duncan Hooper, Pics; Graham Hodges.
The Lions next game will be on the road in Leicester on the 31st of January. The home games on February the 9th, March the 21st and March the 29th are in the process of being rearranged due to clashing events but all will be rescheduled into the Copper Box arena with dates being announced in the next 48 hours.