Basketball: Leicester 91 Sheffield Sharks 85 OT (Sharks win 164-159 on aggregate)

Nick Lewis scored a crucial basket against Leicester. Pic: Glenn Ashley.
Nick Lewis scored a crucial basket against Leicester. Pic: Glenn Ashley.

Sheffield Sharks are through to the BBL Play-offs semi-finals after a nail-biting match at Leicester Riders on Friday night.

Holding an 11 point advantage (79-68) from Wednesday’s first leg in Sheffield the Sharks lost 78-67 in regulation, which forced overtime.

However, Sharks surged ahead in the extra period and, although they eventually lost the match 91-85, their overall score on aggregate of 164-159 was enough to set up a semi-final meeting with league champions Newcastle Eagles.

The hero of the hour was young guard Nick Lewis who scored the vital basket with just 14 seconds to play which sent the match into overtime.

And then Sharks used the three point shooting of John Barber and BJ Holmes to build an unassailable lead in the extra five minutes of action.

Aggregate scoring can always get confusing in basketball but Sharks managed to re-establish an overall 11 point lead in overtime before Riders made hearts race by trimming the gap back to four.

Sharks were nearly undone at the free throw line as their early season Achilles heel returned to hamper their efforts.

But Patrick Horstmann made two from two and Holmes scored the final point to finally end Riders’ resistance.

Sheffield had to battle back from relinquishing their 11 point lead as early as the first quarter before taking a 22-16 deficit into the second period.

By half time Sharks led 40-39 on the night and by 12 overall.

Leicester still trailed by eight heading into the final quarter but took an overall lead at 78-65 with less than a minute to play before Lewis’ heroics.