Newcastle Eagles 101 (29,56,83) (Moore 18, Flournoy 11, Stewart 11)
Worthing Thunder 80 (15,33,58) (Ivanovskis 25, Patton 15, Brame 12)
The reigning BBL champions showed no mercy as they hosted the league’s newest team, the Worthing Thunder, on Friday night. The Eagles won by 101-80 at the MetroRadio Arena to record their third consecutive 100+ game and strengthen their position at the top of the BBL Championship table.
All twelve of the players on their bench scored, led by Trey Moore’s 18 points and a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds from Tafari Toney. Guards Aaron Nielson (8) and Will Spragg (6) led the young contingent off the bench. Janis Ivanovskis continued to impress for Worthing as he led all scorers with 25.
The Thunder led early in the game as a pair of Corey Bargeman free-throws saw them up 5-7, only for the Eagles to post a 10-2 burst, which included 6 points for Andrew Bridge, to take a lead that they would not relinquish. A further 10-2 surge to finish the first quarter saw them into a commanding position after Moore scored 8 points.
Newcastle continued to pile on the punishment in the second stanza and responded to a Ryan Patton three- pointer by scoring the next 6 points after back-to-back baskets from Toney. A further 10 consecutive points followed soon afterwards, and a Darius Defoe dunk saw the lead stretch to 45-20. It was soon at its peak of 56-24 after an 11-0 burst, during which Moore scored two baskets and dished out two assists, however an amazing finish to the quarter saw the Thunder hit three consecutive three-pointers, two for Bargeman and one for Patton, to narrow the deficit to 56-33.
A high-scoring third quarter saw the Eagles add to their lead, despite a Lijah Perkins triple that sparked 5 straight points for the visitors and initially narrowed the gap to 63-42. However, the Eagles were soon back on track as Bridge and Moore combined again to put up a 6-0 run for a 71-45 lead. The Eagles led 83-58 by the end of a quarter in which they scored 14 free-throws, as young British guards Nielson and Spragg made their mark.
There was no trouble for the Eagles in the fourth as Jamie Glen came from the bench to score three points and to ensure that he joined the rest of his team mates on the scoresheet.