Date Time League Season
February 23, 2024 7:00 pm Women's Regular Season 2023-24

The Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles are on the road again tonight as they travel to Leicester to take on the Riders in another tough Women’s British Basketball League game.

It’s less than a week since The Riders stunned The Eagles with a devasting late game run to take a 77 – 57 victory in the Vertu Motors Arena last Saturday night. It emphasises how difficult a task it is for Head Coach Matt Newby’s Newcastle side.

They will though fly into the Riders home in good heart and with confidence boosted by their last road trip. That was a terrific 82 – 66 win at Nottingham Wildcats less than 24 hours after the Leicester loss that lifted the Eagles to sixth in the League standings.

Eagles Women were victorious las time out against Nottingham Wildcats. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Newby took a look back at last weekend as he also looked forward to tonight’s clash.

“For the most part the last 6 minutes of the Leicester game was not reflective of the first 34. Until that juncture it was a 1-point game and one of our best defensive performances.”

“When Leicester began to capitalise on our errors it escalated to a point we could not recover from. The adjustments for the game at Nottingham on Sunday were around higher-level consistency over a longer duration. I felt we achieved this.”

“Sunday’s win showed we can run the floor when we defend consistently in the half court and play selfless. We finally got a reward in transition which has been lacking.”

“Additionally, we have started to look at the right looks at the right time within the offence and going to the right personnel with the right matchups. Heightened connectivity is also the hallmark of a team that is evolving and trending in the right direction.”

The scheduling has not perhaps been kind to Newcastle who had an extended period of inactivity and then suddenly faced that double-header last weekend and now play on a Friday night to complete a busy week.

Newby contemplated both that and the adjustments his side need to make going in against Leicester again and what he feels are the components to a successful game plan.

“These nuances in the schedule are always interesting. Leicester have a pedigree unit and a talented coach in Ben Stanley. He will be tweaking offensive and defensive looks after last Saturday as are we.”

“We know the scout and it’s fresh in our minds which is advantageous. For me it’s about confidence, composure and control as a unit.”

“The keys to the game centre around trying to temper or negate a very strong transition team who flow quickly in some really strong scoring systems. We again need to be on point with the scouting report.”

One thing that could also point in The Eagles favour is new recruit Jada Dapaa. The 5’ 11” forward made her debut for Newcastle in that loss last Saturday but showed her ability with a top scoring 20-point contribution in the win against Nottingham.

New signing Jada Dapaa put in an MVP performance against Wildcats. (Photos: Abbie Orwin)

Now that she’s shown she’s integrating into both the League and adapting to her teammates, The Riders may well see a different Dapaa that they encountered last weekend as Newcastle look to continue to lift their level of performance and win ratio.