Newcastle Eagles drop 0-4 for the first time since 1991-92 season
Bennett Koch’s man of the match performance helped secure the Sheffield Sharks’ second win of the season.
Atiba Lyons coached his side to their first home victory of the season against the Eagles to improve to 2-4 after going winless in his team’s first four league outings.
New Eagle signing Donovan Johnson had a rocky start to his league debut only providing one assist while playing 13 minutes.
The Eagle duo of Javion Hamlet and Lesley Varner were outshined by commanding second half performances by Javion Ogunyemi and Kipper Nichols
Marc Steutel’s team had many opportunities to extend their five point lead but poor shot choices and an outstanding sharks defense left the Eagles to defend a one point 30-31 lead after the first half.
In an interview with Sky Sports before the match Sharks guard Rodney Glasgow Jr praised the teams defense saying: “Particularly defensively I think we’re moving in a really good direction.
“Offensively, our rhythm will come but on the defensive end I’ve liked what I’ve seen.”
Glasgow Jr’s teammates were inspired by his praise visible through their 33 defensive rebounds, 12 Eagles turnovers and giving up two fast break points.
The Sharks held the Eagles to under 60 points in their 66-59 victory, marking the second time they have done so after holding the Cheshire Phoenix to 49 points in their first league win of the season.
The hosts were in control through the first quarter feeding the ball to Koch who grabbed continuous baskets shooting 9-13 on the night.
The visitors weren’t going to run from the challenge, a Varner inspired defense kept the Sharks at bay after causing eight first half turnovers.
The Sharks powered through their center, Koch scored 16 first half points and was sent to the line five times and fouled six times.
Neither Darius Defoe or Jermel Kennedy could contain the oppositions center; each had three personal fouls at the end of the first half.
With Defoe and Kennedy in foul trouble Duke Shelton was tasked with their defensive responsibilities.
Shelton proved crucial for Steutel in the first half grabbing five rebounds and scoring four points while the starter Defoe only played four and a half first half minutes.
The second half saw talented Eagle guard Hamlet score seven of the teams 10 third quarter points.
For the second successive league game the Eagles have a third quarter let them down which saw the Sharks outscore their opponents 19-10.
The hosts started the fourth quarter where they ended the third quarter by continuing their scoring run. They extended their lead to 12 points after scoring 10 straight.
Ogunyemi, Nichols and Koch combined for 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Sharks in the second half.
The result dropped the Eagles to 0-4 which hasn’t occurred since their 91-92 season when they were the Sunderland Saints; that season they went on to only win three league games.
Steutel is in pursuit to bring in one more seasoned veteran to help strive a struggling Eagles side into a victorious, title contending threat in the BBL.
The Sheffield Sharks will stay at home and hope to extend their win streak to three as they welcome the Newcastle Eagles again in their next fixture on October 23.
The Newcastle Eagles will travel back home to Tyne and Wear still in search for their first league win matching up against the Bristol Flyers.