It was a good night for Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship on Friday, as the league leaders stretched their winning streak and one of their title rivals slipped up.
|Friday 19 December 2014|
|Leeds Force||56-94||Newcastle Eagles||19:30|
|Worcester Wolves||70-75||London Lions||19:30|
|Surrey United||56-85||Leicester Riders||19:30|
|Sheffield Sharks||69-55||Glasgow Rocks||19:30|
Eagles eased past Leeds Force 94-56 thanks to a hot start and 20 points from Scott Martin to make it 13 consecutive league victories. The only team to beat the reigning champions in this season are second-placed Worcester Wolves. But Paul James’ side suffered just their fourth league defeat of the season, 75-70 at home to London Lions.
Leicester Riders moved within two points of Wolves and into third spot with a convincing 85-56 road win at Surrey United. Sheffield Sharks’ resurgence continued with a 69-55 defeat of Glasgow Rocks at EIS Sheffield.
|1||Esh Group Eagles Newcastle||14||13||1||26|
|11||Plymouth University Raiders||14||4||10||8|
|Dateline 20 December 2014|
Quote of the week
I’m expecting another tough game and the league is very tough. There are a lot of teams in the top echelon that are making it very difficult for each other, apart from Newcastle, who are putting some daylight between them and everyone else. Rob Thurman has proved himself to be a strong BBL player and Alex Owumi at home in the backcourt is exceptionally good for Worcester.Vince Macaulay, Lions’ Head Coach
Short-handed Sharks defeat short-handed Rocks
Sheffield Sharks’ upturn in BBL Championship form continued on Friday with a 69-55 home win against Glasgow Rocks.
After a stuttering start to the season, Atiba Lyons’ side have now won three of their last four league games and improve to 6-6, level on points with the sixth-placed Rocks, who slip to 6-8.
Both teams were without key playmakers as JaJuan Smith sat out for the visitors and BJ Holmes was missing for Sharks.
Jonny Bunyan stepped up and scored 11 points in Smith’s absence but it was Nick Lewis who shone brightest, going for a game-high 17 points, matched by his team-mate Olu Babalola. Patrick Horstmann also stood up to the challenge for the hosts, as he added 14 and collected six boards.
As he has done so often this term, Kieron Achara paced Sterling Davis’ men with 15 points, and nine rebounds, but this time it would not be enough for the BBL Cup finalists, who have now lost their last four in the league.
Newcastle Eagles roll on
Newcastle Eagles stretched their unbeaten BBL Championship run to 13 games with a dominant 94-56 victory at Leeds Force on Friday.
The reigning champions continued their incredible campaign as they eased to success against the top-flight newcomers behind a hot start and 20 points from Scott Martin.
Last weekend’s results made this a battle between top and bottom in the BBL and that was reflected on the court as Fab Flournoy’s Eagles were in control from the tip to the final buzzer.
Martin was instrumental as Newcastle jumped out to a 9-0 start and never looked back.Eagles would have proved a tough test for any opponent on this form, as they locked down on defence and converted 54% of their attempts from the field, scoring 58 points in the paint.
Andrew Thomson and Charles Smith each scored 15 points as their team created great looks at the basket while the hosts struggled.
Oliver Hylands led Leeds with 12 points and captain Armand Anebo added 11.
Leicester Riders cruise past Surrey United
Leicester Riders maintained their BBL Championship title challenge with a convincing 85-56 success at Surrey United on Friday.
Rob Paternostro’s men asserted their dominance over an improving United side to waste no time getting back into the swing of things following 13 days without a game. The results sees the Leicester club build on their victory against Glasgow Rocks last time out and improve to 10-2 in league action, level on points with third-placed Cheshire Phoenix, having played three fewer games.
Pavol Losonsky was the high man for the visitors with 17 points as TrayVonn Wright and Tyler Bernardini added 15 and 11 respectively. Jack Majewski’s club slip to 3-11, but remain above bottom club Leeds Force thanks to their triumph when the clubs met last weekend. Former Rider Anthony Downing scored just nine points against his old employers while Kramer Knutson led the hosts with 15.
Monster win for Lions who maul Wolves
London Lions capitalised on the absence of Worcester Wolves star Robert Thurman to make up ground at the top of the BBL Championship with a 75-70 road win on Friday. Paul James was without his frontcourt focal point for this important meeting because of injury, but his side pushed the capital club all the way.
Vince Macaulay’s men just had too much in the end, and scored the final five points of the game with Drew Sullivan coming up clutch once again to ensure Lions close within four points of their hosts in the BBL Championship standings.
Chavis Holmes had tied things up at 70 with two minutes remaining before Lovell Cook connected on a jump shot, Zaire Taylor split a pair free throws and Sullivan topped another strong showing with two made free throws in the final 10 seconds.
Holmes led the hosts with 19 points in 40 minutes of play, a minutes mark matched by his backcourt foil Alex Owumi. But Sullivan’s leadership shone through, as did that of the influential floor general Rod Brown. The point guard had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists as Sullivan tallied 15 points and 11 boards.
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