The Newcastle Eagles came out on top in a clash at the top of the BBL Championship table on Sunday, claiming a 16 point victory over the Cheshire Phoenix.
The Eagles were running away with it at the end of the half, leading by 22, but a fightback led by Jalen Hayes’ 25 points brought the game within touching distance for the Nix in the second half.
Justin Gordon led for the visitors with 24 points, making ten of his 12 shots, including a huge dunk late in the fourth, as all five starters scored in double digits for the Eagles.
Cortez Edwards played fantastically for Newcastle, with 18 points, nine assists and five steals, to help guide his side to victory.
Cheshire failed to lead the game once through all 40 minutes, and the side struggled to get going from three point range, making just 23% of their looks from outside.
Mike McCall and Kyle Carey both had good games for the hosts, with 19 and 18 points respectively, but the injury hit Cheshire side were unable to answer Newcastle’s firepower.
The Worcester Wolves secured victory in the capital, as they defeated the London Lions by 12 points thanks to a fantastic display from Jordan Williams.
Williams put up 23 points on 50% shooting from the field, as well as eleven rebounds, six assists and four steals.
It was a game that the Wolves led through all four quarters, and started the game on an 11-0 run, as they put the pressure on the hosts from the off.
Mike Parks Jr provided great help for Williams scoring 17 points, and Elijah Burns and Henry Wilkins were pivotal off the bench, both making ten each.
It was a tough afternoon for the Lions, who never led at any point, but one positive for Coach Vince Macaulay was the strong performance of Kevin Ware, who had 19 points, five assists and four rebounds.
The Surrey Scorchers also claimed victory in Glasgow, defeating the Rocks by 16, thanks to Tony Hicks incredible 31 points, seven assists display.
It was an incredibly tight game at the end of the first half, which Glasgow led by two points, however, the Scorchers turned it on in the second half to lead by as many as 17.
Lacey James and Martelle McLemore both shot well for the Scorchers with 19 and 15 respectively, and captain Tayo Ogedengbe contributed with a ten point ten rebound double-double.
For the Rocks, Ronald Delph had a huge 20 points 12 rebound double-double, but Christian Keeling and Gareth Murray were the only other players able to make it into double figures, with 19 and 18 respectively.
Finally, the Plymouth Raiders completed a 21 point victory over the Manchester Giants, as Ricky McGill and Mike Morsell dominated.
McGill had a tremendous double-double with 23 points and 12 assists, and Mike Morsell put up 25 points, including shooting an impressive 66% on his six three point efforts.
The game was in the balance until the third quarter, where the Giants poor shooting produced just five quarter points, allowing the Raiders to jump out to a 22 point lead.
David Ulph provided some positives for the Giants, shooting 77% in a 16 point eleven rebound double-double, but the Raiders proved too much on the day for the struggling Giants.
The day prior, Leicester Riders strengthened their advantage at the summit of the BBL Championship table as a near triple-double from Conner Washington led them to a 76-62 road win at Bristol Flyers.
GB guard Washington played all 40 minutes in the absence of Geno Crandall, and finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as Riders made it five wins in a row, for a record of 19-3.
The decisive run came over the half-time break, as Corey Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers just before the half and Washington opened the third period with four points in a 6-0 start, for what had become a 14-3 push.
The lead reached 48-36 when Johnson hit his third triple in a little over three minutes across the break, and Riders weren’t threatened thereafter as it peaked at 76-58 in the fourth quarter when Mustapha Heron scored seven quick points, including a pair of emphatic dunks.
Cortez Edwards posted a triple-double as Newcastle Eagles picked up a crucial victory in the title race over London Lions, as there were wins for Bristol Flyers, Glasgow Rocks and Plymouth Raiders in an enthralling Friday evening of British basketball.
The Eagles blew the Lions away as they posted 64 first half points in a dominant performance that sees them remain second in the Championship standings. Flyers coach Andreas Kapoulas picked up his 100th win in the BBL as the Flyers overcame a stern Wolves test, and Glasgow Rocks picked up their fourth win of the season in an impressive comeback performance against Manchester Giants. Plymouth Raiders bounced back from last week’s BBL Trophy disappointment to pick up the win over Sheffield Sharks.
The evening’s action tipped off in Newcastle as the Lions were looking to carry on their momentum from their BBL Trophy victory last week. However, they were met by a rampant Eagles side who flew out the blocks, and found themselves 19 points clear by the end of the first quarter.
The Lions, who were already without the injured Justin Robinson, were further hindered as Deandre Liggins found himself ejected in the first period after picking up two quick technical fouls.
As the Eagles built on their incredible first half scoring, the Lions regrouped and looked a more focused outfit coming out of halftime. However, the day belonged to Cortez Edwards and the Eagles, as his triple double of 10 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists was the icing on the cake in an incredible team performance.
Rahmon Fletcher also posted a mightly impressive 26 points and 14 rebounds, as Dirk Williams stuffed the statsheet for London with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The action continued in Worcester as the Wolves looked to extend their lead in the table over Bristol Flyers to eight points, and they put themselves in a good position to do so going into halftime seven points in the lead.
The Flyers came out with a vengeance in the second half, and outscored the Wolves 46-21 in the final two periods to take a convincing victory back to Bristol and bridge the gap between the two sides in the Championship standings.
Marcus Delpehce led all scorers with 18 points as Bristol prepare for the visit of league leaders Leicester on Saturday.
Glasgow Rocks stunned the Manchester Giants with an incredible third quarter performance to pick up a great win at the Emirates Arena, courtesy of another monster performance from Ronald Delph as well as great scoring returns from Jonny Bunyan and Chris Keeling.
The Rocks went into the third period trailing by 12 however an explosive ten minutes saw them rack up 33 points in the quarter, and Glasgow followed that up with 32 points in the fourth to secure the home win.
The Giants missed the chance to close the gap on those above them in the playoff race, but an impressive showing from the Rocks’ American duo in Delph and Keeling stole the headlines again.
Delph posted a mammoth double-double of 32 points and 18 rebounds whilst Keeling and Bunyan posted 26 points apiece for the Rocks.
The night’s basketball finished in Friday’s feature game on Sky Sports, as the Plymouth Raiders bounced back from last week’s trophy final heartache to overcome the Sheffield Sharks in a win that sees them rise to third in the standings.
Again it was to be the third quarter that proved the difference in the game, as the Sharks lead by three going into the third and found themselves trailing by nine at the end of it. Rickey McGill continued his fine form as he led all scorers with 21 points whilst Jordan Ratinho posted 17 points and eight rebounds for the Sharks.
The victory marks four on the bounce for Plymouth in the Championship as they carried on their momentum whereas the Sharks remain sixth in the standings.