Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 115 (26,56,89) (Jones 17, Martin/Matthew/Smith 16)
Manchester Giants 76 (15,37,57) (Best 17, Jones 16, Eaves 12)
A dominant team performance led to Esh Group Eagles Newcastle extending their lead at the summit of the BBL Championship table, with eight players scoring in double-figures as they beat Manchester Giants 115-76 at Sport Central.
This was their highest points tally of the season as they went through the century mark for the fourth time, led by Andre Jones with 17 points, and Scott Martin’s double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. And Newcastle are now unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions, a run spanning three months.
The Eagles – the highest scoring team in the league, who also put 94 points on Leeds Force the night before – raced into a 10-3 lead as they allowed their visitors just one basket in the opening four minutes, Jones scoring six early on. Drew Lasker’s ‘and-one’ play made the lead double-figures, and Charles Smith added a buzzer-beating three-pointer to make the score 26-15 after ten minutes.
Smith opened the scoring in the second stanza and hit back-to-back triples midway through to push the score out to 40-26, and it was through twenty points at 53-32 on Rahmon Fletcher’s basket before half time.
The Giants couldn’t get closer in the second half as the Eagles pushed on. Andy Thomson scored five points in a 10-0 burst and Eddie Matthew came from the bench to score 16 points in 10 minutes, as the lead peaked at 113-69 on his three-pointer. The Eagles were unplayable on the night, forcing 25 turnovers, from which they scored 31 points, and scoring 66 of their points in the paint.
The Giants have now lost four in a row and seven of their last eight as they risk slipping out of the Playoff places. They have also still not beaten the Eagles since their return to the BBL in 2012.