Newcastle Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy had praise for Charles Smith as his 49 points and 16 rebounds helped his side defeat neighbours Durham Wildcats 106-65.
“We started really well at Durham and played some excellent transition basketball in the first quarter. Charles got going early and never stopped!” said Flournoy after Smith drained eight three-pointers in the win.
“Joe [Chapman] was also able to make all sorts of plays on the basketball court, but overall I was delighted that every player who stepped onto the court for us played with the necessary intensity and we will hopefully take that forward to next week and beyond.”
The BBL Championship leading Eagles poured in 40 first period points to lead by 27 and never looked back as they remain one win ahead of Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders having played a game more.
The Riders also had a winning weekend, sealing a place in the BBL Trophy semi-final with an 82-66 win at Surrey Heat before beating Mersey Tigers 84-54 in the BBL Championship. Against Heat Jay Couisnard led the scoring with 22 points, with Drew Sullivan contributing 19 as both grabbed seven rebounds. Couisnard again top scored with 18 points and Sullivan added 14 the following night as all 12 Riders got on the scoresheet in a comfortable win against the basement side.
EJ Harrison came back to haunt his old club as a dagger three with one second on the clock gave Glasgow Rocks a 69-66 win against London Lions. Harrison led the Rocks’ scoring with 17 points as his side trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, and Orlan Jackman’s 26 points for the Lions proved to be in vain.
There had been better news for Lions on Friday as they edged out the Tigers 88-79. Jordan Spencer led the Lions with 21 points, including five three-pointers, as they stepped up in the fourth period to take the win. Joshua Lockett, for the Tigers, led all scorers with 23 points in vain.
A stunning 40 point performance by in-form guard Michael Ojo lifted UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders to a road win at Cheshire Phoenix as they overcame a late run from the hosts to win 100-93 and remain in fourth place in the BBL Championship. Chez Marks had 31 points against his former team for Phoenix.
Friday night also saw Worcester Wolves maintain their pursuit of a top four spot in the BBL Championship table with an 88-75 road win at the Manchester Giants. Stan Ocitti and Alex Owumi equally split 40 points to lead the scoring, with the former adding 10 rebounds and the latter five assists. Nick George led the Giants with 18 points.
Finally, One Health Sharks Sheffield strengthened their position in the play-off sports with an 88-70 defeat of the Durham Wildcats. Micah Williams led the scoring with 26 points, shooting 60% from the field and 57% beyond the arc, while Mike Tuck added a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Keith Page led the Wildcats with 19 points.