BBL Championship
Newcastle Eagles 85 (25,42,63) (Thomson 22, Defoe 13, Gause 13)
Guildford Heat 64 (12,28,40) (Martin 14, Joseph 13, McLemore 13)

The Newcastle Eagles stated their BBL Championship intentions with an 85-64 defeat of the Guildford Heat in the league’s curtain-raiser in the North East.

Andrew Thomson led the way with 22 points, while Darius Defoe had a double-double of 13 points and 17 rebounds. Mike Martin led the Heat with 14.

The Eagles led 10-5 early on and never looked back; extending that to 19-10 on Paul Gause’s triple and it went through the double-digit mark before the first quarter was done as a Joe Chapman score made it 25-12 after ten minutes – Mike Martin with 10 of the Heat’s points.

The pattern continued in the second quarter and the Eagles flirted with a twenty-point lead at 35-16 with four minutes to play in the half. The lead stayed around that mark, entering the last two minutes of the half at 41-23, before the Heat held the hosts scoreless and netted the final five points through Martin and Julius Jospeh to trail 42-28 and provide hope for a second half revival.

The Eagles did edge through the twenty-mark, at 48-28 after a 6-0 burst, just a minute and a half into the third quarter as Charles Smith scored his eleventh point of the game. The Heat would not get back to within twenty for the remainder of the game, and it reached its peak at 25 (73-48) on Andrew Bridge’s free-throw with 6.16 to play. The Heat had 30 turnovers in the game, from which the Eagles scored 17 points.