BBL Championship Play-off Quarter Final, Second Leg
One Health Sharks Sheffield 81 (19,41,59) (Tuck 25, Holmes 20, Jemison 17)
Newcastle Eagles 84 (17,38,59) (Chapman 27, Defoe 18, Smith 13)
(Eagles win 169-151 on aggregate)
The Newcastle Eagles secured their place in the semi-finals of the BBL Championship play-offs thanks to a 81-84 victory on Monday night at the EIS, Sheffield giving them a 169-149 aggregate victory.
The Eagles will now play the Surrey Heat in the two-legged semi-final over the weekend.
With the Eagles leading 85-70 after the first leg on Friday night, both sides traded baskets for much of the opening quarter and it was the home side who took a slender two point lead at 19-17 at the end of the opening quarter.
In the second period, the Sharks took a little more control of the game as a BJ Holmes basket sparked an 11-2 burst to take the score out to 41-30 with 2:30 remaining in the half. The Eagles finished the second quarter the stronger side with an 8-0 tear to trim the deficit back to three points at 41-38 as the teams headed into the locker rooms at the half.
In the second half, both sides traded baskets for the vast majority of the third period, and despite the best efforts of the Sharks to maintain their advantage in the game, but the Eagles got themselves right back into the game and tied the game up at 59-59 heading into the final stanza.
In the final period, a Holmes three-pointer gave the Sharks an early 64-59 early on, but that was the biggest lead that the home side would enjoy in the final stanza as the Eagles responded with a 7-0 burst to take the lead at 64-66.
The lead changed hands on a number of occasions down the stretch with both sides trying to go for the victory, but a Kareem Maddox basket sparked a 9-0 tear for the Eagles to break the resilience of the Sharks and send the Eagles out to a 76-83 lead with 1:36 remaining in the contest. The Sharks tried desperately to get themselves back into the game, but to no avail as the Eagles held on for the victory and secure their semi-final berth.
Joe Chapman led all scorers in the game with 27 points for the Eagles in the victory, while Mike Tuck led the scoring for the Sharks with 25 points personal.