Prestige Homes MK Lions 91 (27,48,66) (Bolds 29, Crawford/Northern 14)
Newcastle Eagles 96 (27,54,75) (Smith 20, Gause 18, Defoe/Thomson 16)
The Newcastle Eagles picked up their 11th victory of the season in the BBL Championship as they defeated the Prestige Homes MK Lions 91-96 at the MK Basketball Centre on Sunday evening.
A Charles Smith basket for the Eagles opened the scoring, but the Lions picked themselves up and bagged 15 of the next 21 points of the contest, including five points from Demarius Bolds, to take the score out to 15-8. The Eagles were not to be outdone however as they started to close the gap throughout the remainder of the period and both teams ended the opening stanza locked together at 27-27.
In the second quarter the Lions got themselves out to a six point advantage to 40-34 midway through the period, but the Eagles broke the game open with a 15-4 burst, including an exhilarating 10 points from Andrew Thomson, to take the score out to 44-49 with 1:31 left in the half and the visitors held onto their advantage at 48-54 heading into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half the Eagles continued to extend their lead thanks to a 10-0 burst to take the score out to 54-73, but a 12-2 finish to the third quarter from the Lions trimmed the deficit to nine points at 66-75 heading into the final stanza.
In the final quarter the Eagles extended their lead to 13 points at 77-90 midway through the quarter, but the Lions were not to be outdone as they clawed their way back into the contest thanks to a 11-4 burst to get to within six points at 88-94 with 1:30 left in the contest.
A pair of free-throws from Smith with 23 seconds remaining took the score out to 88-96 and despite a Bolds three-pointer with nine seconds remaining, the visitors held on for the victory to keep themselves at the top of the pile.
20 points from Smith (pictured) saw him pick up a team-high points total for the Eagles, but it was Bolds who was the main man in the contest as he netted an impressive 29 points for the Lions in the defeat.