Red hot Rickey McGill scorched Leicester Riders in a Friday night thriller as the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles pulled off the perfect revenge mission.
The US guard added three steals, five assists and five rebounds to his game high 31 points as the hosts came through a fiery ‘classico’ at the Vertu Motors Arena.
And after letting slip the chance to beat Rob Paternostro’s men on Tyneside just two weeks earlier, Newcastle made no mistake second time around against the shellshocked Riders.
The Eagles had their work cut out heading into the locker room at the half — trailing 43-42 and without Tajh Green and Will Neighbour for the remainder of the game.
Marc Steutel’s big men became the focus of a feisty second period with both ejected from another no-holds-barred British Basketball League epic.
But McGill hit eight of his side’s first 10 second half points to put an increasingly ragged Riders on the back foot.
And with the ever-reliable Jordan Johnson keeping the scoreboard ticking over, Newcastle opened up a six-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Surrendering late leads from a position of power had become the Eagles’ Achilles heel this season and Monday night’s late, late loss against London must have been preying on the minds of players and fans alike.
But Steutel has been working around the clock to drill into his new-look roster the need to better manage big matches down the stretch.
And this time the short-handed hosts saw off a late Leicester charge in spectacular fashion to snap a five-game losing streak and head to Bristol in buoyant mood.
McGill’s huge haul — including six deep triples — hit the headlines but Johnson (21) and Larry Austin Jr (15) both lit up a terrific night on Tyneside.
The Eagles are heading down to Bristol for tonight’s 8pm tip off which can be watched FREE on the British Basketball League YouTube Channel.