The Canterbury Rams have bounced back from their loss last week to hold off the defending champion Southland Sharks 98-94.

Canterbury led by as many as 25 points, but the wheels feel off in the fourth quarter, as the Sharks got to within two with 2:11 left.

But the home-side was able to survive down the stretch, moving to two wins and one loss while the Sharks go to 2-2.

The Rams were led by Ethan Rusbatch (26 points) and shooting guard Marcus Alipate (25 points) who shot six for ten threes.

Jordair Jett singlehandedly nearly won the game for the Sharks in the fourth quarter and finished 30 points and eight assists.

Alex Pledger had a massive double-double of 20 points and 20 rebounds, and Nick Kay added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

It also always going to be an intriguing matchup, the Sharks coming off a game the night before while the Rams having to replace injured import Jamie Adams for Justin Graham.

Graham, who is 6'4 guard from California, tallied 13 points four assists in 31 minutes and fellow American Marcel Jones returned from injury for the Rams adding 13.

The Rams led 60-40 at halftime, shooting an incredible 72% from the field and converted on 21-25 (84%) inside the perimeter. When the home side extended the halftime lead to 81-86 with two minutes left in the third, you wouldn't blame the Sharks for throwing in the towel.

But an 11-3 run to end the third, followed by a spurt in the fourth where they outscored Canterbury 20-3 put the scores 91-89. Southland had multiple chances to make it an even game, but couldn't convert three point attempts

Canterbury will now travel to Auckland tomorrow to play the Supercity Rangers (0-3) who be fired up to get their first win of the season.