University of Sunderland basketball made it two wins from two in the Northern 3B division with a 69-64 victory against Leeds Beckett.

Both sides held double-digit leads during the game but the teams were well-matched and it proved to be an entertaining tie at CitySpace.

Theodoros Axiorlis and Hilo Silva were two of the key players in Sunderland’s win, in both attack and defence, while captain Dom Karpinskas also featured with a number of important plays.

It was Karpinskas who scored the first basket of the game just 11 seconds in but it was a scrappy start, with only six points scored – 2-4 to Leeds – in the opening three minutes.

The visitors were 18-17 up at the end of the first quarter, the lack of points a sign of how scrappy the game was.

In the second quarter, Sunderland went to the free throw line a number of times as they looked for the high percentage shots close to the basket.

Silva, Axiorlis and Lukas Butvilas all scored from the line with the latter’s effort of one basket from two attempts putting Sunderland 24-23 up with six minutes of the half remaining.

Karpinskas came up with a big offensive rebound, followed up by a great and-one effort as Sunderland aimed to end the half on top.

This wasn’t the case though as Leeds hit a big three pointer just before the break, helping the West Yorkshire side to a 38-36 lead.

A disastrous start to the second half saw Sunderland fall further behind. Leeds went on a 9-0 run from the restart to go 11 points up but the hosts responded eventually, thanks to a mid-range and a Karpinskas three pointer.

Sunderland got their reward for not collapsing after their awful start as Karpinskas, Naylor and Axiorlis all scored before the end of the third to give their side a 50-49 lead.

Axiorlis carried on his fine work with Sunderland’s first two baskets of the final quarter, including a three pointer.

Sunderland always seemed comfortable in the fourth, even furthering their lead to 11 points with under two minutes to go.

Leeds put up a spirited fight and were four points behind with 30 seconds remaining but they couldn’t complete their late comeback as they went back to Yorkshire empty-handed.