There was a trio of home wins on Friday night in the BBL Championship, for the Newcastle Eagles, One Health Sharks Sheffield and Manchester Giants.
The Eagles have given themselves a cushion in second place in the BBL Championship table after beating the third-placed Surrey Heat 89-80 in the northeast. The Eagles have won five of their last six games, while it was the Heat's first loss on the road since October. Damon Huffman (186-PG-85) led the Eagles with 26 points, including six three-pointers, while Darius Defoe had a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds; the Eagles were missing Charles Smith.
After establishing an 11-2 lead straight out of the blocks, the Eagles led throughout the game although they were pushed late on. The Heat tied the game at 54 when Frank and Travis Holmes scored consecutive baskets, but the Eagles were settled by Damon Huffman and Fab Flournoy, and Huffman made two three-pointers inside the last two minutes to maintain their edge at 64-60 going into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles built on that foundation and saw the game out as a 6-0 burst, sparked by Anthony Martin, gave them a double-digit cushion at 72-62 and that was maintained heading into the last five minutes as Martin scored twice more. The Heat did threaten again, using an 8-0 run to get within one possession at 76-73 with four minutes to play, and they still had a chance with 1.13 remaining at 82-79 after Margai scored again. But the Eagles held their nerve as, surprisingly, Defoe made his first three-pointer of the season and Martin scored 4/4 from the line down the stretch.
Elsewhere, the Sharks made it three wins in a row, while condemning the Glasgow Rocks to their third straight defeat as they beat their Scottish rivals 83-74 in Yorkshire. Micah Williams led the Sharks with 23 points, while Mike Tuck added 16. The visitors were led by Gareth Murray's 16 points and 9 rebounds.
The Sharks used a flurry of third quarter three-pointers to win the game, after trailing for most of the first half. With 3.30 to play in the third, trailing 45-54, Micah Williams scored back-to-back three-pointers for the hosts to narrow the gap to 51-54, and when Lewis added another a minute later the game was level, and it stayed that way heading into the fourth quarter at 58-58.
The Sharks established a decisive lead when they scored the first 8 points of the fourth quarter, including 6 for Babalola, and they maintained a cushion through to the end.
Finally, the Manchester Giants made it two wins in a row, after a previous run of seven straight defeats, after edging out northwest rivals the Cheshire Phoenix by 85-83, meaning that the Phoenix have lost six of their seven road games this season.
The Giants were led by a double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds from Ben Eaves, ably supported by 19 points from David Watts. Gabriele Haskins led all scorers, in vain for the visitors, scoring 31 points.
The Giants led for all of the first three quarters and 30-21 after a free-scoring first period, establishing an 18-8 lead after just five minutes courtesy of a 10-2 surge as Watts and Eaves each scored 6 early points. But thereafter the Phoenix chipped away at their hosts' lead.
Their persistence paid off in the fourth quarter as an 8-3 opening gave them their first lead of the game at 68-69 after Haskins made 4/4 from the line following a foul and Mike Bernard technical foul, and then the same player scored again as the Phoenix got the ball back, meaning Haskins scored 6 points in 20 seconds. But their lead would not last long, as, fittingly, Ben Eaves' three-pointer put the hosts back up 73-71, with 6.30 to play. The teams were never separated by more than one possession all the way to the end, and they were tied at 83 inside the final minute. It was down to Eaves to settle the game after Stefan Gill stole the ball and set him up for a dunk with 20 seconds left; there was time for the Phoenix to tie the game, but Gumbs missed his shot before Eaves emerged with the rebound as the clock ran down.
There was plenty of history made on Sunday as the milestone of 1 million points scored in the BBL was achieved. Fab Flournoy won his 500th BBL game in his 600th BBL Championship appearance as Esh Group Eagles defeated Plymouth Raiders 84-92 behind Rahmon Fletcher's 32 points Leicester Riders improved to 8-0 with a 92-60 win over Leeds Force, while London Lions are also still unbeaten having defeated Manchester Giants 60-83 on the road. Meanwhile, Neil Watson (180-PG-91, college: S.Miss... [read more]
There was plenty of history made on Sunday as the milestone of 1 million points scored in the BBL was achieved.
Fab Flournoy won his 500th BBL game in his 600th BBL Championship appearance as Esh Group Eagles defeated Plymouth Raiders 84-92 behind Rahmon Fletcher's 32 points
Leicester Riders improved to 8-0 with a 92-60 win over Leeds Force, while London Lions are also still unbeaten having defeated Manchester Giants 60-83 on the road.
Meanwhile, Neil Watson (180-PG-91, college: S.Mississippi) scored 20 points to lead Glasgow Rocks to an 84-61 success against Bristol Flyers and Cheshire Phoenix recorded a 102-79 win against Worcester Wolves.
Leicester Riders are still unbeaten at the top of the BBL Championship after beating Leeds Force 92-60, on Sunday.
The visitors put up a tougher test for the defending league champions than their recent 64-point loss, but were still comfortably beaten.
Tyler Bernardini (198-G-88, college: Pennsylvania) shot 7-of-8 from beyond the arc on his way to 25 points with four other players in double digits.
Leicester ran out to a 9-2 start and led by as many as 12 in the first before the visitors rallied to close the gap to five points. Back-to-back triples from Bernardini helped Riders pull away in the second and they would hold an 11-point lead at the cushion.
Force were within seven early in the third, but Leicester put together a strong spell to increase their lead to 20 points.
The home side continued to stretch their advantage in the fourth with a 10-0 start and they would secure a convincing 32-point success.
Pierre Hampton also contributed a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds to help the Riders improve to 8-0.
Esh Group Eagles Newcastle made it a double-winning weekend with a second victory over Plymouth Raiders following an 84-92 road success.
It was a double dose of BBL history for Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy as he registered a 600th BBL Championship appearance before earning a 500th win as a coach in the BBL.
Rahmon Fletcher led the way with a 32-point haul, while Drew Lasker weighed in with 18 points from the bench against his former side in the continued absence of Deondre Parks.
The game got off to a high-scoring start as the Eagles edged the first period 35-36 behind a strong start from Fletcher. The Eagles continued in the same vain in the second and established a commanding 19-point advantage at half-time after holding their opponents to 11 points in the second.
Plymouth gradually reduced the deficit in the third and produced a strong finish to cut the gap down to 10 points before Fletcher's late basket sent the Eagles into fourth up 12.
Fletcher then scored five points in a 7-0 start to restore the 19-point lead, although the Raiders rallied with a 12-0 run to close within seven. However, it was not enough as the Eagles secured their sixth league victory.
Daryl Corletto top scored for the Raiders with 23 points and there were 18 points apiece for Cory Dixon and Donte Nicholas as Plymouth drop to .500 on the season.
There was a once in a generation milestone recorded in the BBL today as Deondre McWhorter(203-F-93, college: Georgetown, KY, agency: Inception Sports) of Worcester Wolves wrote himself into the history books. The forward took the honour of scoring the one millionth point in the BBL Championship and he did so in style as part of a perfect six of six shooting display from the open floor against Cheshire Phoenix. It proved to be an exciting countdown to the landmark, since three games were... [read more]
The forward took the honour of scoring the one millionth point in the BBL Championship and he did so in style as part of a perfect six of six shooting display from the open floor against Cheshire Phoenix.
It proved to be an exciting countdown to the landmark, since three games were being played simultaneously when the standout figure approached.
The BBL would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contributed to those first one million Championship points. And, we are excited to have already started on the next million.
Al Nasr Riyadh (SBL) tabbed 28-year old American forward Jay Couisnard (198-88, college: UMKC). He played most recently at Worcester Wolves in British BBL league. In 35 games he averaged 14.4ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.1apg and 1.2spg last season. The previous (14-15) season Couisnard played at La Rochelle in French NM1 where in 25 games he had 9.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.9apg and 1.2spg. He won British BBL championship title in 2013 and he averaged 13.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 6... [read more]
Al Nasr Riyadh (SBL) tabbed 28-year old American forward Jay Couisnard (198-88, college: UMKC). He played most recently at Worcester Wolves in British BBL league. In 35 games he averaged 14.4ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.1apg and 1.2spg last season. The previous (14-15) season Couisnard played at La Rochelle in French NM1 where in 25 games he had 9.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 1.9apg and 1.2spg. He won British BBL championship title in 2013 and he averaged 13.2ppg, 5.7rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.3%, 3PT: 30.6%, FT: 65.3% in 36 games. Couisnard has played also professionally in United Kingdom for Leicester Riders. He attended Univ.of Missouri - Kansas City until 2012 and it will be his fifth season in pro basketball. Let's have closer look into Couisnard's outlook:
Athletic small forward, his versatility allows him to play the 2 through 4. He is explosive off the dribble and off the boards and is well known for his dunking ability. He has quick hands and aggressive. He is a student of the game, team leader and a consistent scorer with good 3pt range.
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