Newcastle Eagles 83 – 75 Scottish Rocks
Q1 20-21, Q2 45-42, Q3 66-57, Q4 83-75
Newcastle Eagles – Defoe 31, Moore 17, Flournoy/Chapman 10
Glasgow Rocks – Copeland/Harrison 18, Davis 16
Newcastle Eagles secured their semi-final place in the BBL Trophy as they topped their group with a 100% record in the competition after they saw off the Glasgow Rocks by a score of 83-75 at Sport Central on Friday evening.
After a tight opening first quarter, the Rocks got their noses in front thanks to a 9-2 close to the period to lead 20-21.
In the second quarter, the home side began to get themselves back into the game and an 11-4 burst towards the end of the period gave the Eagles a 43-37 lead, but the Rocks closed the deficit slightly as the teams headed into the locker rooms at the half with the home side ahead 45-42.
In the second half, the visitors tied the game at 47-47 with 8:18 left in the third period, but that was the last time that they would do so in the game as the home side began to edge themselves in front thanks to some strong defence and good inside post-play from Darius Defoe as he helped the Eagles into a 66-57 lead heading into the final stanza.
In the final quarter the Eagles moved their lead into double figures at 15 points off the back of a 7-1 burst to take the score out to 77-62 midway through the period. The visitors tried valiantly to get themselves right back into the game and despite a 10-2 tear to trim the deficit to six points at 81-75 with 26 seconds remaining, it was too late for the Rocks as the Eagles held onto secure the all-important victory.
Defoe enjoyed a great game for the Eagles as he lead all scorers with 31 points for the home side, while a combination of Mike Copeland and EJ Harrison led the Rocks in scoring with 18 points a-piece.
Eagles coach Fab Flournoy was keen to praise the efforts of his team at the end of the game, but particularly Defoe: “We’re delighted with the win and to progress to the Trophy semi-finals. I felt that we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but Darius [Defoe] provided us with great energy inside.”