One Health Sharks Sheffield 80 (17, 40, 60) (Tuck 19, Jemison 18, Babalola 16)
Newcastle Eagles 88 (20, 38, 55) (Chapman 19, Huffman 18, Smith 16)
Newcastle Eagles secured a fourth straight victory by beating One Health Sharks Sheffield 88-80, ending the Sharks’ 6 game winning streak.
Eagles sit second in the BBL Championship table with a 24-6 record, while Sharks are 7th with a 15-16 record. However, the London Lions’ loss to Surrey Heat means Sharks are now guaranteed to finish seventh, so Eagles and Sharks will play each other again in the first round of the BBL Playoffs.
Joe Chapman led the Eagles with 19 points and 8 assists, supported by Damon Huffman’s 18 points and 6 assists. Charles Smith had a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds and Kareem Maddox ended with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Sharks were led by Mike Tuck with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Demetrius Jemison scored 18 points, making 80% of his shots from the field.
A 9-3 run put Eagles ahead 14-7 early on after Joe Chapman sank a 3-point shot. Sharks struck back, going on an 8-0 run with BJ Holmes making back to back treys before Mike Tuck put them ahead 15-14.
Chapman and Damon Huffman made treys to put Eagles back ahead 20-15 before Sharks went on a 15-4 run to go ahead 30-24 with Nick Lewis, Olu Babalola and Holmes all making 3-point shots.
Charles Smith had 5 points, including a 3-point shot, a steal and a block during a 7-0 run by Eagles that reduced the Eagles’ deficit to 34-33 close to half-time.
A 13-0 run that began with the final points of the first half turned a 40-35 Sharks lead into a 48-42 Eagles lead after Charles Smith’s basket. Eagles then extended their lead further, Chapman and Smith both scoring treys during a 10-0 run that left them ahead 60-50.
Late in the third period, the Sharks defence forced the Eagles into turnovers on successive possessions as they went on a 8-0 run to cut the Eagles lead back down to 62-60.
Huffman scored the final 3 points of the period with an ‘and-one’ play that sparked a 12-2 run by the Eagles that put them ahead 74-62 early in the final stanza.
Olu Babalola scored 5 straight points and blocked a shot by Charles Smith to reduce Eagles’ lead to 76-69 mid-way through the final quarter.
However, the Sharks couldn’t build any further on that, with their defence allowing Eagles to make all five of their next field goal attempts, though some good Sharks offence left them with a slim chance after Smith put Eagles ahead 88-80 with 38 seconds to play before Nick Lewis missed the Sharks’ attempted 3-point shot and Eagles’ Darius Defoe grabbed the rebound.