BBL Championship
Glasgow Rocks 74 (17,35,50) (Elechi 20, Watson 18, Achara 15)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 82 (16,42,63) (Martin 16, Parks 15, Defoe/Fletcher 14)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle prevailed through a tense game in front of more than 3,000 fans at the Emirates Arena to overcome Glasgow Rocks 82-74 on Sunday night. Eagles are now unbeaten in their first three games of the season, and boast an amazing 17 straight wins against the Rocks, including nine north of the border, dating back to April 2012.
Rocks bucked that trend early on, leading 17-14 after the opening ten minutes when Anthony Elechi scored eight points in a row, and they were doing a good job of containing the free-scoring Eagles.
But Fab Flournoy (4) and Rahmon Fletcher combined to score the first six points of the second stanza for Newcastle, and their situation improved further when Scott Martin netted seven points in a 9-2 run that made the score 34-27.
Orlan Jackman’s three-pointer just before the half, and another from Martin – who led the scoring with 16 points and 6 rebounds – just after it, pushed the visitors’ lead into double-figures at 61-50, and they carried such a margin into the decisive fourth quarter.
Fletcher, with eight points, kept the Eagles ticking over in a tight final period, and they managed to keep their hosts at arm’s length. It was nervous down the stretch as Neil Watson’s three-pointer got the Rocks as close as five points inside the final minute, but Drew Lasker held his nerve at the line to seal the win.