Surrey Scochers’ unbeaten start to the 2015/16 British Basketball League season came to an ambrupt end on Friday evening as the Newcastle Eagles laid down a crushing 3rd quarter performance to take a 65-98 win at Surrey Sports Park.
Scoring over 20 points in all periods, the reigning champs were just too experienced for the new look Scorchers side, who put up a valiant fight until the final buzzer in their first ever BBL match at Surrey Sports Park.
Coach Creon opted to start with all three US imports on the bench for the game, with Will Neighbour replacing Jacob Loveridge in the starting 5 compared to the one see in last weekend’s win at Bristol.
It was the GB star who lit up the arena from the tip-off, notching 9 points for Surrey in a 15-3 opening to put pressure on the visitors. Newcastle soon pulled back to a single point thanks to a 10-0 run which handed them a 20-21 lead at the first break.
With the lead exchanging hand numerous times throughout the 2nd quarter, it looked like the incredibly passionate 559-strong home support had a real treat on their hands to kick off the season. Debutant Desmond Lee posted a 3 pointer to pulled the scores level with 1.30 on the clock in the period, only for Andrew Thomson to knock in two of his own to give Eagles at 5 point lead at half time (42-47).
The 3rd quarter was a different story. Fab Flournoy’s men put on a basketball masterclass for their opponents, scoring a huge 21 points more than the hosts. Newcastle opened the scoring for the quarter but it looked like Surrey would hold on. Coach Creon called a time-out with 7.30 on the clock as Scorchers slipped to an 11 point deficit. An Andreas Schreiber turnover looked to give his side some confidence only for Eagles to pick up a run of points to hold a 49-75 lead heading into Q4.
A sloppy start to the 4th quarter left the scores at they were for the opening exchanges, until Henry Wilkins committed a personal foul for Thomson to finish from the line to stop the rot. From then on there really was no comeback to be made by Scorchers as Eagles closed out the game to take the 65-98 win back north.
Neighbour netted the double-double on his Scorchers debut with 16 pts and 10 rebounds. Lee also scored well on his first outing with 13 points off the bench.
Scorchers are next in action this Friday evening when they host the Manchester Giants at Surrey Sports Park in a 7.30pm tip-off.