Newcastle Eagles 107 (Chapman 41, Smith 22, Defoe 12)
One Health Sharks Sheffield 86 (Holmes/Jemison 18, Tuck 13)
Newcastle Eagles bounced back from their disappointment of losing the BBL Cup Final last weekend to get their BBL Championship back in full swing thanks to a highly impressive 107-86 victory over the One Health Sharks Sheffield at Sport Central on Friday night.
The result meant the Eagles opened up a two-point gap at the top of the table, while the Sharks held onto eighth position despite the emphatic defeat.
The Eagles started the game strongly as they opened up an early 7-2 lead before a Kareem Maddox basket sparked the home side into life thanks to an impressive 12-2 tear to take the score out to 21-8 with 90 seconds remaining in the quarter. The visitors tried desperately to close the early deficit but the Eagles maintained their comfortable early lead as the first quarter ended with the home side leading 25-12.
In the second quarter, the Sharks tried to get themselves back into the contest and a Colin Sing basket trimmed the gap back to 12 points at 33-21 early in the period. That was as close as the Sharks would get however as a Joe Chapman three-pointer sparked the Eagles back into life with an 8-2 burst to take the score out to 41-23 midway through the second stanza.
A Charles Smith basket extended the Eagles lead out to 19 points at 48-29 which was their biggest lead of the half and despite the Sharks bagging the final four points of the half, the home side remained in control of the game as the teams headed into the locker rooms with the Eagles leading 48-33 at the half.
In the second half, the Sharks tried to get themselves back into the game and a Micah Williams three-pointer got them back to within 13 points at 61-48, but that was as close as they would get in the remainder of the quarter as the Eagles steadily extended their lead throughout the period and ended the quarter leading by 21 points at 73-52.
In the final quarter, the Eagles enjoyed their biggest lead of the contest early in the period as a Maddox basket gave them a 28 point advantage at 80-52. The visitors worked extremely hard in the final quarter to get themselves back into the contest, but there was too much to do despite them closing the gap back to 16 points at 95-79 with three minutes remaining in the game.
The Eagles finished much the stronger side as a 12-4 run gave the home side a 107-83 lead inside the final minute and they held on for the impressive victory.
Joe Chapman led all scorers in the contest with a highly impressive 41-point haul for the Eagles in the victory, while a combination of Demarius Jemison and BJ Holmes led the scoring for the Sharks with 18 points a-piece.