The Newcastle Eagles made it five league wins in a row as they beat the One Health Sharks Sheffield – fellow title contenders – by 79-112 in Yorkshire. The teams had previously been tied for fourth place in the BBL Championship table, and it’s the second time that the Eagles have won in Sheffield this season. The Sharks have now lost their last two league games.
Trey Moore led Newcastle and was a rebound away from a triple-double with 37 points, 11 assists and 9 boards, while Charles Smith had 26 points. The Eagles, who are unbeaten in the league since October, shot nearly 60% from three-point range as they were 14/24, with Smith scoring 7.
The Eagles set the tone from the outset as they raced into a 10-29 lead after seven minutes, following a 16-3 surge that was capped by a three-pointer from former Shark Andrew Bridge, and included 7 points from Smith. It was Moore who controlled the rest of the period, as he had 16 points and 5 assists in the first ten minutes – shooting 5/5 from the field and 2/2 from beyond the arc.
The visitors pushed the lead through twenty points with an early 7-1 run in the second stanza, including another three-pointer for Smith, and they reached the half century mark after just 13.02 on Moore’s old-fashioned three-point play (24-50). The Sharks halted the surge with a 9-2 run, all scored by Paul Williams and Olu Babalola, before Bridge connected on another three which helped the Eagles see it through to half time, up 28-64 with Moore already on 26 points.
The Sharks struggled to eat into the deficit in the third quarter, as Smith hit two three-pointers, the second of which followed a Joe Chapman triple in a rapid 6-0 burst that made the lead 31 at 46-77. After another Smith triple made it 50-82, the hosts hit back as Ryan Patton made 6 straight points; but they still trailed 57-88 going into the fourth.
It would get no better for the Sharks in a free-scoring fourth quarter as the Eagles passed the century mark on Bridge’s basket at 65-101 with 5.34 remaining. The lead peaked at 67-106 with 4.30 on the clock as the Eagles saw the game out.