Newcastle Eagles 108-97 London Lions (31-24, 58-53, 84-71)
Friday 7 February 2020.
Eagles Community Arena, Newcastle
A high scoring affair up north saw the Lions come away empty handed at the home of the Newcastle Eagles 108-97.
A starting five for Lions of Ali Tew, JustinRobinson, Brandon Peel, Jules Dang-Akodo and Buay Tuach raced out of the blocks to provide an early lead for the visitors before Rahmon Fletcher and CJ Gettys combined as they would all night to wrestle it back to 21-14. Lions responded well with excellent scores from Ovie Soko and Andre Lockhart. Despite both teams working hard, the offence had the upper hand as the quarter finished 31-24.
Layup’s from Soko and Ogo Adegboye then led to Lockhart being fouled on an and-one to pull within two points at 34-32. After 5 minutes of the quarter, MVP, Justin Robinson tied the game at 42. Mike Morsell for the Eagles was having a quietly efficient game whilst Lions matched their hosts on the scoreboard, a late flurry and a score at the end of the half meant the home side led but Coach Macaulay was furious as a shove to get open was not called but despite remonstrating, the half time score stood at 58-53 to the Eagles.
The third quarter was a sore one for the Lions. In the first four and a half minutes only Ali Tew and Robinson would score a basket each for the Lions as the home side hit a purple patch, Eagles would only miss 4 shots in that quarter going 11 from 15 whilst the Lions compounded that by committing four turnovers. The lead ballooned to 16 points before Soko’s dunk closed the quarter and the Lions trailed 84-71.
Robinson tried to drag his side back into the encounter as Buay Tuach was a menace on the boards. Soko hit a pair of triples and the Lions clawed back to 9 points but as Fletcher orchestrated the closing stages the win would be an 11 point one that see’s the Lions dragged into the chasing pack with three losses.
Soko led all scorers with 33 points whilst Robinson chipped in with 19, Tuach had his best game so far with a double double of 12 points and 10 boards.
Report; Duncan Hooper, Pic; Graham Hodges.
The Lions now return home to the Copper Box to face the Cheshire Phoenix this Wednesday. Tip off is At 7.30pm and tickets are available HERE.