As expected the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles match-up on the road at Oaklands College against the all-powerful, all-conquering London Lions proved to be a very tough task.
After losing the first quarter by 31 – 11 Matt Newby’s side were always on the back foot and struggling to get into the game and cope with the all-star stellar Lions line-up. The Eagles do deserve some credit for giving 100% in the game and not backing down.
Throughout the 40 minutes they were always faced with a strong five to play against but they stayed committed, together and determined and the final score line perhaps did not reflect the effort they put in.
It was though difficult with the likes of ex-Minnesota Lynx WNBA GB International stand-out Temi Fágbénlé and Karlie Samuelson also a GB International and ex-WNBA player formerly of the Los Angeles Sparks to contend with.
Fágbénlé going for 25 points and 6 rebounds and Samuelson having 16 points. They were both well supported by American Abby Mears another ex-WNBA player from the Washington Mystics that had 14 points and 5 assists.
Lions superior strength and depth enabled them to carve out a big lead through the first two quarters and then rotate their roster through the second half to great effect. The win taking the Lions to a 9 wins 0 loss record in The League so far this season.
For Newcastle star USA forward Tierra Hodges, the Women’s British Basketball League Player of the Month for December showed her quality against such tough opponents with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Her main support coming from Lauren Saiki who netted 14 points.
But they were the only two Eagles in double-figures on the night whilst London had a further three players who managed that feat to backup their star trio and consolidate their top place in the standings.
26 points to two was a blistering start from the Lions that had Newcastle reeling but they stuck to their principles and replied with a nine-point unanswered run to get themselves finally into the contest.
The Eagles will regroup ready for this Saturday’s home tie against Leicester Riders and tickets are available now from the box office.