SHEFFIELD Sharks coach Atiba Lyons had talked this week about his team learning how to close matches out, writes Richard Fidler.
Last night at Manchester Giants, in the BBL Trophy first round, they managed it - albeit at the second attempt.
It took a period of overtime to put away the Giants for good after Sharks had blown the opportunity to win the match in regulation.
Leading 71-68 with five seconds to play the experienced Mike Tuck missed two free throws, which would have made the game safe. On the ensuing Giants possession the equally veteran Olu Babalola fouled David Watts as the Manchester player attempted a three-point shot.
Watts duly sank all three from the free throw line to to tie the match at 71-71.
However, captain Tuck soon atoned for his error.
The Canadian hit six points in overtime as Sharks outscored their hosts 14-2.
It was a good road win for Sheffield and their second successive victory against the Giants - they beat them in the BBL Championship last Sunday.
Sharks trailed 13-12 after a low scoring first quarter but picked up the pace just before half time with a 7-0 run to lead 37-29 at the interval.
Demetrius Jemison made it 39-29 early in the third quarter to give Sheffield their biggest lead of the match but Giants closed the gap to 52-48 heading into the final 10 minutes of regular time.
Giants led 66-60 before an 11-2 burstby Sharks seemed to have won them the match at the first attempt.
Sheffield will host either Glasgow Rocks or Edinburgh Kings in the Trophy quarter-finals.
* SHARKS: Tuck 20, Williams 20, Holmes 16, Sing 6, Lewis 5, Gachette 5, Babalola 5, Jemison 4, Bridge 4.