Another incredible performance on the road made it seven wins from seven in only 18 days and six in The British Basketball League. All of which has meant the Seriös Group Newcastle Eagles rising to 3rdplace in the standings with a 9 – 7 record.
It has been an incredible effort from Head Coach Marc Steutel, Assistants Gary Stronach and Adam Hall and of course all the players. They are the ones that have to bring reality to the strategies and they’ve certainly done that in recent games.
On the face of this score line, it may have seemed another comfortable win. It was far from that with Newcastle having to battle all the way and continually see off determined Surrey comebacks throughout the contest.
But in the end analysis it was another double-digit victory and another game where The Eagles potent offence fed off it’s defence and racked up another 100-point return. It’s certainly an amazing turnaround in events and shows the value of patience and belief.
Our Eagles put on another dominating performance on the road to continue their winning streak.Now the team can go into this Friday’s home game in fine form, confidence high and look to make it a magnificent seven in The League against the same opposition who will no doubt come looking for revenge.
After Thursday’s superb win in London the last thing Marc Steutel would have wanted was for his team to drop their levels of performance. That they didn’t less than 48 hours of that great win against Lions is testament to the togetherness and will of the squad.
They were even a man down with Will Neighbour playing no part but it mattered little as those that stepped on to court all played their part including an incredible 41 points from the bench, 48 points inside the paint and an awesome 11/19 from three-point range all laid the foundations for the win.
The first quarter was very much a ‘nip and tuck’ affair with neither side gaining any real advantage. Surrey went up by a couple of points on two occasions but The Eagles hit back and had the biggest lead of the period at 17 – 12 before taking it 26 – 25.
The second was where Newcastle made their biggest play although again for long periods in the quarter it was close. The significant burst came with the score 39 – 38 in Newcastle’s favour.
Four points from Darius Defoe led an 8 – 0 run for Newcastle and although Surrey replied, Captain Defoe netted the final bucket of the half to send his side into the locker room leading 49 – 40.
The third quarter was crazy with both offences exploding throughout. Tahj Green scored first to give The Eagles and 11-point advantage but Surrey hit back with ten unanswered to close within a point. Marc Steutel calling a time out.
Whatever was said in that minute certainly galvanised his side and Rickey McGill in particular. Suddenly the mercurial guard couldn’t miss especially from 3-point range. His offence explosion forging Newcastle back ahead.
But credit to Surrey who once again hauled themselves back into the game before McGill again aided by Josh Ward-Hibbert, Larry Austin Jr and the improving Scott Spencer pushed Newcastle back out to a nine-point lead.
A breathless ten minutes had seen both sides score 30 points meaning it was The Eagles who still led by nine going into the final quarter. A quarter where they pretty much controlled the tempo throughout and increased the gap as well.
Surrey did get back to within eight which was as close as they got but with Eagles and McGill in particular scoring from all over they actually led 97 – 78 at one stage before a late Surrey rally in the dying embers of the game meant a final victory margin of 13 for Steutel’s men.
McGill was irresistible. 30 points on the back of 11/13 shooting including 6/8 from 3-point range. Add in a team high 6 rebounds with 8 assists and 4 steals giving him an index rating of 41 and it’s clear why he won the MVP award.
Austin Jr continued his recovery from injury with a solid 14-point contribution especially off the bench and Green had 13-points. Malcolm Delpeche, Ward-Hibbert and Spencer all had 9 from the bench.
6 of Defoe’s 8 points came in that crucial second period run and Eagles even had the luxury of leading scorer Jordan Johnson contributing only 6 points but then he also dished out 7 assists showing his value to the team and game.
In the end though the only statistic that really matters is that they all added up to another fantastic road win and one that sets up Scorchers visit to the Vertu Motors Arena this coming Friday very nicely.