Esh Group Eagles Newcastle followed up their victory against the Plymouth University Raiders on Friday with a 84-83 win against the defending BBL champions Leicester Riders on Saturday evening.
Malik Cooke carried over the momentum from the last game and dropped 10 points already in the first quarter, as Eagles broke away to a 29-18 advantage already after the first frame.
After a three-point shot by Andrew Sullivan early in the second quarter, Riders had cut the gap to 25-31, but Eagles replied with a 10-1 with Paul Gause (pictured) draining a couple of triples on the other end.
Having finished the first half with a 54-36 lead, Eagles kept up their excellent shooting and were up by 19 points after Charles Smith’s long-range shot midway through the third quarter.
However, Riders weren’t looking to give up just yet, making a game of it by cutting the gap to single digits before the start of the final quarter. The gap continued to melt and Riders finally tied it at 79-all with 2:32 left on the clock after a big bucket by Anthony Downing.
With 55 seconds on the clock, Malik Cooke put the visitors in front by a pair and Eagles pushed the gap to four points from the stripe, holding on despite a three by Downing at the buzzer.
Paul Gause paced the winners with 21 points, Cooke had 19, while Andrew Lasker added 15 for the Eagles. Meanwhile, Anthony Downing scored a team-high 19 points for Riders, Jamell Anderson scored 14, as Rashad Hassan and Andrew Sullivan chipped in with 13 points each.