Newcastle Eagles 121 (29,63,94) (Sullivan 27, Smith 26, Chapman 18)
Marshall MK Lions 84 (25,43,64) (New/Morris 13, Holmes/Williams 11)
Newcastle Eagles maintained their pursuit for their fourth BBL Championship league title as they enjoyed a comfortable 121-84 victory over the Marshall MK Lions at the Metro Radio Arena on Friday night. The Eagles now know that victory on Sunday over the Glasgow Rocks would give them the title regardless of whether the Sheffield Sharks defeat the Worthing Thunder the night before.
The Eagles started brightly with a 10-2 run to open the game, but the Lions came straight back at them to tie the game up at 13-13. A Joe Chapman three-pointer at either end of a 12-2 burst for the Eagles gave them a 25-15 lead and they did not trail again for the remainder of the game. The Lions closed to within four points at 29-25 as the first quarter came to a close, but a 15-3 start to the second period ended any real chances of the visitors getting back into the game as the Eagles took the score out to 44-28. The home side continued to stretch their lead for the remainder of the first half and ended the second quarter leading by twenty points at 63-43 as the teams headed into the locker room at the half-time interval.
In the second half the Eagles contined to enjoy success at the offensive end and some solid three-point shooting from Charles Smith and Andrew Bridge helped the Eagles increase their lead to 30 points at 94-64 heading into the final stanza. In the final period the Eagles opened with a 14-2 start to the period to give them their biggest lead of the game at 42 points with the score at 108-66. The visitors showed some resilience as they rattled off a 12-2 burst of their own to get the score back to 110-78, but the Eagles were able to see that off and hold on for the comfortable victory.
Andrew Sullivan led all scorers in the game with 27 points for the Eagles, while a combination of Dawud Morris and Michael New led the Lions with 13 points a-piece.