Newcastle Eagles 91 (23,45,68) (Chapman 22, Sullivan 22, Stewart 14)
Glasgow Rocks 82 (19,40,61) (Copeland 22, Parillon 22, Murray 15)
Newcastle Eagles took another step to retaining the BBL Championship with a 91-82 home win over third place Glasgow Rocks.
The victory for Newcastle ensures it will be a two horse race for the title with Sheffield Sharks. Fab Flournoy’s team now lead Sheffield by four points having played two matches more and with five games remaining.
Glasgow’s feint hopes of catching the Eagles or Sharks are now over with the north-east club’s latest triumph.
Joe Chapman continued his impressive form with 22 points. He was joined on that number with team-mate Andrew Sullivan and Rocks’ Steve Parillon and Mike Copeland.
Rocks were in touch with the Eagles throughout the match but were badly let down with their three-point shooting. Coming into the game with only Newcastle ahead of them from beyond the arc Sterling Davis’s team could only muster 3 of 19.
After Glasgow held the lead at 7-8 they were never in front again. A 7-1 run midway through the first quarter helped Eagles to a 23-19 advantage after ten minutes.
Gareth Murray tied the match at 31-31 with a dunk for Rocks but Eagles responded with a 14-3 burst. Glasgow scored the last five points of the half to trail 45-40.
Newcastle stretched out to 64-42 late in the third quarter thanks to five points from Chapman in an 8-0 tear.
Leading 68-61 after three quarters Eagles consistently held off the Rocks throughout the final stanza. Jessie Sapp cut the gap to 74-71 only for Newcastle to reply with a match-clinching 13-3 run.