|Cheshire Phoenix and Plymouth University Raiders moved a step closer to securing their spots in the Play-Offs with victories in the BBL Championship, on Sunday.
Plymouth ended their losing streak against Bristol Flyers as Cory Dixon scored 23 points in a 91-72 victory, while Adrien Sturt added 20 points.
Meanwhile, Cheshire left it late to see off Sheffield Sharks as Quincy Taylor scored the game-winner in a 79-77 victory. Akeem Ellis led the way with 22 points, while Jerrold Brooks had 25 for the beaten visitors.
Plymouth University Raiders 91 (22,45,73) (Dixon 23, Sturt 20, Corletto 18)
Bristol Flyers 72 (25,35,55) (Lee 18, Seilund 15, Edozie 14)
Plymouth University Raiders claimed their first win over local rivals Bristol Flyers in the BBL after recording a 91-72 victory.
Daryl Corletto’s side trailed early on, but pulled away in the middle periods to lead by as many as 20 points as they continued their impressive home form in 2016, having lost one league game in eight at the Pavilions.
Cory Dixon led the way with 23 points, while Adrien Sturt added 20 in his 175th BBL Championship appearance and Corletto weighed in with 18 points, nine assists and four steals.
Sturt fired in an early three to set the tone for a high-scoring opening quarter, but it was the visitors who edged in front with Tyrone Lee scoring nine points in the period.
Plymouth began to turn the tide in the second and compiled a 17-5 spell to open up an 11-point lead. Dixon had 19 points in the first half, and the Raiders came out firing in the second half with Duane Bailey netting two triples in a 16-4 burst to establish a commanding 20-point cushion.
Bristol immediately closed the gap with a 7-0 response, but could not get closer than 13 points as Plymouth powered their way to a fifth consecutive league victory at home as they climb above London Lions in the standings.
The Flyers were led by Lee’s 18 points as their Play-Off hopes took a hit in another twist in the race for a top eight finish.
Cheshire Phoenix 79 (24,41,58) (Ellis 22, Huffor 20, Taylor/Rochford 14)
Sheffield Sharks 77 (14,31,57) (Brooks 25, Hogg 16, Tuck/Robinson 13)
Cheshire Phoenix edged a thriller against Sheffield Sharks as Quincy Taylor earned his side a 79-77 victory with a game-winner in the dying seconds.
The Sharks trailed by three with 7 seconds left and looked to have forced overtime with Jerrold Brooks’ triple only for Taylor to beat the buzzer and snatch the win for Cheshire.
Akeem Ellis top scored with 22 points including six 3-pointers, while Danny Huffor added 20 points and there was a double-double for Kinu Rochford, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Sheffield opened with the first five points, but the home side responded to take control with 12 unanswered points to open up a double-digit advantage. Cheshire led by as many as 14 in the second, but Sheffield rallied to close the gap back to 10 at the half.
The Sharks made their move late in the third as they would close to within a single point despite trailing by 11 at 50-39 at one stage. Brandon Hogg tied the game at 60 early in the fourth, but Cheshire were quick to move back ahead.
The visitors had the chance to take the lead in the final minute, but split four free throw attempts, and Ellis scored to make it 77-74 before the frantic finish ensued with the home side securing an important victory.
Cheshire moved above London courtesy of their 12th league win, while Sheffield missed the chance to pull further clear of fifth placed Glasgow Rocks.