The Newcastle Eagles took a share of second place in the BBL Championship, making it six league wins in a row, as they beat the Guildford Heat 98-70 in the North East.
It is the second consecutive game in which they have dismantled a fellow top four contender in the first half, and they have now won seven of the last eight league meetings against the Heat.
The Eagles led from tip to buzzer and it was soon 10-5 as BBL veterans Charles Smith and Mike Martin exchanged blows early in the game: the former hit two three-pointers, while the latter responded with one of his own in the first two minutes. The lead became 21-12 after seven minutes after an Andrew Bridge three and Chapman score, and the hosts were already well in control at 29-17 after the first ten minutes
The Heat started the second stanza with a Julius Joseph three, but that was as good as it got as they went scoreless for the next four and a half minutes, trailing 45-20 as Bridge’s triple capped an 11-0 burst. For the second game in a row the Eagles posted a massive first half score, and they were through the half century with three minutes still to play before leading 56-36 at the break.
Joseph started the third period with a triple as the Heat set about reducing the deficit, restricting the Eagles to one score in three minutes. But Charles Smith got the hosts going again and they extended their margin to 22 going into the fourth quarter at 77-55. The Eagles only extended their lead in the fourth, as Chapman ended the game on 28 points and 12 rebounds, with Smith scoring 20. It was their biggest win against the Heat in nearly five years.
Newcastle Eagles 98 (29,56,77) (Chapman 28, Smith 20, Defoe 16)
Guildford Heat 70 (17,36,55) (Joseph 23, Martin 18, Janusauskas 11)