Newcastle Eagles 63 (Smith 17, Chapman 11, Huffman 10)
Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders 75 (Couisnard 27, Losonsky 15, Anderson/Sullivan 9)
In the battle of the undefeated starts, the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders came out on top to maintain their 100% start to the BBL Championship campaign thanks to an impressive 63-75 victory over the Newcastle Eagles in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Sport Central on Friday night.
After a tight opening, the Eagles made the first break of the game with a 7-0 burst to take the score out to 11-6 midway through the first quarter. The Riders got themselves back into the contest as a Jamell Anderson dunk tied the game up at 15-15 with just under three minutes remaining in the period. The visitors continued to stamp their authority on the contest as they finished the opening quarter the stronger side with an 8-4 tear to take the score out to 19-23 at the end of the first period.
In the second quarter, three-pointers from Charles Smith and Joe Chapman for the Eagles allowed the home side to tie the game up at 26-26, but the Riders stayed strong and did not allow the Eagles to get their noses in front as they enjoyed an 11-4 burst of their own in response to take the score out to 30-37 midway through the second period. Another basket from Chapman saw the Eagles close the deficit back to just three points at 36-39 with 2:19 remaining in the half, but the Riders finished the half strongly as they netted the final five points to head into the locker rooms leading 36-44 at the half.
In the second half, a 9-0 run from the Eagles saw the home side trim the deficit back to a single point at 49-50, but the visitors kept themselves in front as a 9-2 burst took the score out to 51-59 with just over a minute remaining in the third period. The visitors kept themselves on top as they held onto a seven point advantage at 53-60 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, the visitors bagged the first eight points of the quarter to enjoy their biggest lead of the game at 15 points at 53-68. A pair of free-throws from Darius Defoe trimmed the deficit back to nine points for the Eagles at 61-70 with less than four minutes remaining in the contest, but that was as close as they would get as the Riders held on and secured the victory from the foul-line.
Jay Couisnard led all scorers in the contest with an impressive 27 points for the Riders, while Smith was the main man for the Eagles as he netted 17 points for the home side in the defeat.