Glasgow Rocks 66 (11,31,46) (Northern 16,Harrison 12,Urli 11)
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 74 (18,37,52) (Cooke 20,Defoe 18,Lasker 15)
On a historical night at the Emirates Arena, there was a double celebration for visiting player-coach Fab Flournoy, who set a new BBL appearance record of 541 games and masterminded a hard-fought 74-66 success against Glasgow Rocks.
The win was made even sweeter for Flournoy because it was not only achieved without influential guard Paul Gause, but it extended the Eagles’ BBL Championship winning streak to five games and they are yet to taste defeat in the league during the current calendar year.
Flournoy didn’t trouble the scorers and had five turnovers to his name, but that won’t have made the victory or occasion any less memorable, since the play-caller will have been delighted with the way his team performed to gut out another win.
The Eagles started strongly, but having raced into an 18-11 lead after ten minutes, Rocks pegged them back to 29-29 leading up to the interval.
As Darius Defoe handed the Eagles the advantage with a pair of free-throws, he probably didn’t expect his team to for the lead for the remainder of the contest, but that is exactly how it panned out.
The Eagles just about kept Rocks at arms’ length, with the home side hindered by Daniel Northern getting into foul trouble. Down 62-52 with four minutes of the contest remaining, Rocks scored six points without reply to set up a nervy finale.
However, the Eagles held firm and saw the game out from the free-throw line.
Defoe and Malik Cooke combined for an efficient 38 points for the victorious Eagles, whilst Northern was excellent with a fine double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds – but couldn’t prevent his team slipping to a fifth loss in their last six BBL Championship outings.