BBL Championship
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 95 (23, 51, 77)(Martin 21, Defoe 18, Smith 13)
Plymouth Raiders 77 (21, 40, 65)(Wilcher 19, Vigor 17, Bailey 16)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle held off a spirited Plymouth Raiders 95-77 at Sport Central on Friday to equal their club-record winning streak of 23 games.
Scott Martin scored a game-high 21 points as Eagles improved to a 15-0 league record and strengthened their grip on top spot in the BBL Championship.
Overall, Eagles have not lost in 23 contests, a run stretching back to the tail end of last season and matching their previous best sequence, which ran from January until April 2010.
Coming into the game off a morale-boosting overtime victory against London Lions, Raiders started in confident mood, connecting on four three-pointers during the opening period.
But the reigning champions’ ruthless efficiency began to tell as their patented balanced offence bore results.
Fab Flournoy’s side racked up 30 assists in total, demonstrating their ability to find team-mates in great shooting positions.
And while Martin led the scoring, his effort was supplemented by double-figure output from Darius Defoe, Joe Chapman, Andy Thomson, Charles Smith and Rahmon Fletcher as Eagles rolled on, ahead of Sunday’s clash with Cheshire Phoenix.
Raiders kept battling to the end behind 19 points from Josh Wilcher and 17 for Mike Vigor, but they could not live with the champions. They will hope for a better return on their endeavour when they host Manchester Giants on Sunday.