Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's No Easy Ride for the Champions, but Eagles Lose Again

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's No Easy Ride for the Champions, but Eagles Lose Again

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF KING

NEWCASTLE Eagles are still without a win away from home since the January Cup final after they went down to an 87-81 defeat at BBL Champions Leicester last night.

However, head coach Fab Flournoy and his team can take solace from the fact they showed a lot of fight and commitment to run the Champions close in an entertaining encounter.

It was a slow start for the Eagles who were 9-0 down before Dre Parks got them on the board.

Leicester captain Tyler Bernadini caught fire early, knocking down three triples as the home side's shooting was much more accurate than Newcastle's.

Rahmon Fletcher was getting to the basket for the visitors regularly but like his team-mates couldn't find the basket as he went 0-5 in the first period.

Newcastle were also being out rebounded at both ends but were coming up with steals.

Darius Defoe did finally start converting for the visitors inside and gradually they came back in to the game closing within four before the champions, who made wholesale switches to their line-up on court , found new energy - Andy Thomson's bucket giving them a 26-15 lead at the end of the first. In the second quarter Leicester maintained their lead and increasingly found themselves open inside to make easy baskets, Pierre Hampton in particular being the beneficiary as they kept control at both ends of the floor.

The Eagles' usual dynamic backcourt was being kept very quiet throughout and couldn't make an impression on the game. Martin the one spark although his points were coming from a high percentage of shots.

The visitors continued to make chances but weren't converting as the game bcame stretched.

It was being played at a fast pace with very few fouls being called, although Defoe did manage to pick up three before half-time restricting his presence on court.

A Harrison Gamble triple stretched the home side's lead to 17 - the biggest of the night - as they led 41-24, but a late Newcastle run and a Martin triple managed to cut the gap back to 11 and evened up the quarter as Leicester took a 42-31 lead in to the locker rooms at the break. …

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