Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 103  (Martin 21, Defoe 19, Gause 18)
Manchester Giants 51  (Marsden 12, Jones 8, Watts 7)

Esh Group Eagles Newcastle took a share of second place in the BBL Championship by sweeping aside Manchester Giants 103-51 in the North East, as they passed 100 points for the fifth time already this season and remained unbeaten at home.

Scott Martin dominated the Giants on the inside as he had 21 points and 12 rebounds to pace all scorers, with Darius Defoe adding 19 and Charles Smith scoring all 16 of his in the first half. The Giants, who are yet to win on the road this campaign, committed 25 turnovers and shot just 11% from three-point range.

The Eagles produced a dominant first half to get the job done early on, breaking the game open from 11-10 with a 10-4 finish to the first quarter, inspired by five points in a row from Martin and a spell during which they held the Giants scoreless for nearly three minutes. Stuart Thomson’s three-pointer got the hosts going in the second stanza, as the Eagles held their visitors scoreless for a further three minutes, this time rattling off 15 straight points, with six for Smith, to lead 46-29 by the half. The Eagles already had a third of their points from turnovers, with three steals from Malik Cooke.

It was his triple that capped ten unanswered points to put the game beyond doubt in the third at 62-32, after Defoe had scored the first four points of the second half. And the Giants were made to suffer more late on as a four minute scoreless spell in the fourth was followed by the hosts breaking through the century on Paul Gause’s ‘and-one’ play, as he scored five in a row inside the last two minutes.