BBL Play-Off Quarter Finals (First Leg)
Bristol Flyers 64 (6,23,42) (McLaughin-Williams 14, Streete 14, Lautier-Ogunleye 11)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 84 (17,32,63) (Jones 17, Smith 17, Thomson 17)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle began the BBL Play-Off marathon with a convincing 84-64 road victory over Bristol Flyers in the first leg of the Quarter Final tie at the WISE Basketball Arena on Thursday evening.
In pursuit of sweeping all BBL competitions this season, Fab Flournoy’s side got off to a great start, building a 17-6 lead at the end of the opening period. However, Flyers countered with a 13-3 run to start the second half and the deficit was quickly reduced to single digits.
Despite holding Eagles to a season-low 32 first half points, the Bristol side didn’t make the most of these opportunities, with their own offensive struggles.
Paced by Andre Jones and Andrew Thomson, Eagles picked up the intensity after the break and broke away to a 63-42 lead after a 31-point third quarter.
Despite a subpar shooting performance by the Newcastle club, there was little Flyers could put against Eagles in the second half, as the most dominant team in the BBL this season secured a 20-point edge before the home leg on Friday.
Charles Smith, Andre Jones and Andrew Thomson all finished the game with 17 points apiece for Newcastle. Smith also grabbed seven boards and dishing out five assists, while Jones and Thomson chipped in with nine boards each.
Meanwhile, Greg Streete and Doug McLaughin-Williams scored 14 points apiece for Flyers, with Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye adding 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.