Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 104 (Cooke 34, Martin 16, Lasker 14)
Surrey United 73 (McGill 21, Henry 18, Kucinskas 17)
After losing at Cheshire Phoenix in their previous BBL Championship outing, it always looked likely that Fab Flournoy and his players would bounce back with a home fixture against basement dwellers Surrey United – and so it proved.
The hosts ensured it was a one-sided contest after pouring in 30 points during a one-way street in the first quarter.
United moved 8-6 ahead after the initial exchanges, but it wasn’t long before the prolific Malik Cooke found his shooting range and got the Eagles shifting effortlessly through the gears.
He had 11 points in the first quarter alone, as the hosts opened up a double-digit lead and never looked back.
To their credit, Surrey did a much better job of competing across the middle two quarters as the Eagles rotated their bench and had to sit down Paul Gause because of a suspected injury.
United were also hampered by an injury to the influential Brandon McGill who led the scoring for the visitors.
The Eagles put their foot back on the accelerator in the last ten minutes with a dunk by Darius Defoe underlining their superiority and fittingly bringing up the 100 point landmark.
Surrey couldn’t cope with Cooke, who exploded for 34 points, hauled down 14 rebounds, seized a super seven steals and dished up four assists in one of the best BBL displays of the entire campaign.
Ceslovas Kucinskas had a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds in defeat.