Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 81 (23, 38, 61)(Chapman 21, Fletcher 20, Defoe 12)
Worcester Wolves 75 (16, 42, 52)(Blackwell 27, Losonsky 16, Mugica 11)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle passed another BBL Championship test on Friday, outlasting Worcester Wolves for an 81-75 win at Sport Central.
Third-placed Wolves have been one of the few teams to enjoy a favourable record against Eagles in recent years, winning all three meetings between the sides last term and ending the champions’ unbeaten start to this season in January.
An even first half suggested another tough night lay ahead for Fab Flournoy’s men, and so it proved.
But a 10-0 close to the third period, sparked by the energetic play of Rahmon Fletcher saw Eagles seize control and go into the final period with a nine-point edge.
The hosts protected their advantage until the final minute when, inspired by a 27-point showing from Perris Blackwell, Wolves twice cut the gap to four points.
But Charles Smith and Fletcher converted crunch free throws to ice a victory, which gives Eagles the season head-to-head tie-breaker against Wolves.
Joe Chapman enjoyed a landmark night, scoring 21 points for Eagles and passing 500 assists in BBL Championship play.
Pavol Losonsky had 16 points for Wolves, passing 1,000 in the competition in the process.