Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 98 (23,49,75) (A. Thomson 20, Fletcher 17, Defoe 15)
Bristol Flyers 72 (18,39,57) (Bland 19, Seilund 14, Herring 12)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle leapfrogged Bristol Flyers in the BBL Championship table after a 98-72 win in the North East. The Flyers have started their debut BBL campaign well, but found that the reigning champions had too much for them – Newcastle making it three wins in a row.
Andrew Thomson led all scorers with 20 points for the hosts, while Rahmon Fletcher added 17 points and 8 assists, and Darius Defoe – who didn’t lead the Eagles for the first time in three games – had a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Flyers started the game much the better, taking an early 9-2 lead, but it was the only time that they would find themselves in the ascendancy. The Eagles produced a 10-2 run late in the first quarter to storm into a 23-18 lead that they would not relinquish.
Defoe helped the Eagles to a double-digit lead at 31-20 early in the second, and it stayed around that margin until the third quarter, when the visitors narrowed the gap to 55-50. A 14-4 surge midway through the period put Newcastle up 64-52, and they pushed on from there. The lead reached twenty points with the first score of the fourth quarter, and they held their visitors scoreless for a three minute spell to ensure there was no way back.