Surrey Scorchers have moved into the BBL Championship Play-off places after Quincy Taylor scored with less than a second to play in overtime to see them beat Esh Group Eagles Newcastle 112-111 on Saturday night.
It was Surrey’s first win over Newcastle for nearly four years, snapping an 11 game losing streak, and means that Scorchers have won seven of their last ten games, enabling them to rise into the the Play-off spots heading into the final weekend of the season, when they meet fellow contenders Plymouth Raiders (seventh) and Bristol Flyers (joint eighth, with Surrey).
Chaz Rollins was inspirational, with a huge double-double of 30 points and 13 assists, while the match-winner, Taylor, added 23 points and six assists.
It was Taylor, too, who forced the extra period as he made a free-throw to tie the game at 98 with 11 seconds to play after Scott Martin looked to have won it for Eagles. And the teams could barely be separated through the additional five minutes, as a Deondre Parks three-pointer got the Eagles level and he again looked to have secured them victory soon after when he scored with 16 seconds to play.
But on Scorchers’ final offence, Taylor missed when taking the ball to the basket before picking up on his own rebound after a scramble and netting just before the buzzer to win it.
Earlier in the game, Scorchers – who came into this one higher in the form table – had led for virtually all of the first three quarters after Rollins opened the game with consecutive baskets, and they led 11-3 when he scored again.
They twice held double-digit leads, including 65-55 in the third period after Kalil Irving’s triple and four more Rollins points. But it was close from there, as Eagles scored the next eight to get back to within one shot on Martin’s trey, and they were in front in the fourth at 86-85 when Parks scored eight points. But Eagles couldn’t hold on, and they have now lost five straight games on the road.
Scorchers are on the road next Saturday to kick off their Play-Off Showdown weekend against the Plymouth Raiders (7.30pm) before welcoming the Bristol Flyers for a potentially winner-takes-all game against the Bristol Flyers.
Report from bbl.org.uk.