Newcastle Eagles 90 (24,49,68) (Defoe 22, Chapman 18, Gause 13)
UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders 67 (8,28,48) (Colbert 19, Rowe 14, Bell 11)
The Newcastle Eagles continue to set the pace in the BBL Championship as they remain top with a 6-0 record after a 90-67 destruction of the UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders on Friday night.
Darius Defoe led the Eagles with 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Andrew Thomson had a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards. Lehmon Colbert led the Raiders with 19 on a night when league MVP Jeremy Bell shot just 23% from the field on his way to 11 points.
The damage was done from the very outset as the Eagles opened the game leading 10-4 after five minutes behind 6 points from Defoe. The visiting Raiders called a timeout, but the Eagles only extended their lead as Paul Gause made back-to-back baskets for an early double-digit edge at 15-5. The Eagles scored 7 more points inside the final two minutes, sparked by Thomson’s three-pointer, to take a commanding 24-8 lead after the first period, and they never looked back.
The lead grew steadily in the second stanza, with Charles Smith’s three-pointer making it 35-16 and it reached 22 as a 7-2 burst, capped by a Chapman three-pointer, made the score 42-40. The hosts maintained a margin above twenty through to the half, leading 49-28.
And the lead was rarely any lower. Despite winning the third quarter, the Raiders could make little headway as they outscored their hosts by 20-19, still trailing 68-48 heading into the fourth. The Eagles came on strong as they showed their depth in the fourth quarter, the lead peaking at the final score margin of 23.