BBL: Newcastle Eagles 82 London Lions 85
PUBLISHED: 08:19 03 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:19 03 February 2018
Peel double-double helps Lions clip Eagles
A depleted London Lions took an excellent road win against Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Championship on Friday.
London took the floor against the second-placed Eagles with Andre Lockhart starting in place of injured star point guard Justin Robinson and a bench of just three players.
But the clash started well for the visitors as they built an 7-2 lead thanks to baskets from Brandon Peel, Joe Ikhinmwin and a three from Lockhart, the first of seven made by the Lions.
The Eagles worked hard in the first to close the gap but the Lions headed into the first intermission with a two-point advantage thanks to a dagger three-pointer from the red hot Lockhart who was clearly relishing his role on the night.
The score went back and forth to start the second quarter before the Eagles got into their groove and, after scoring five unanswered points to finish the period, the hosts would enter the break leading 48-43.
Young Londoner Jonathan Lashley played well in the second period whilst covering for Peel and Ikhinmwin as coach Vince Macaulay looked to rotate his starters.
And the Lions edged the third period by three points to close the gap to just two with Peel continuing his excellent form by scoring another double-double before the quarter was out.
Peel would finish the game with 21 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while the Lions were led in scoring by Paul Guede who had 22 points.
The Lions quickly erased the deficit with a 7-0 run to start the final period, before Newcastle rallied back for a four-point lead of their own.
But that would be as good as it got for the Eagles as Lockhart brought the gap down to two from the line after forcing his defender into a foul and Ikhinmwin with a smooth baseline layup to tie the game at 73-73.
The Lions briefly held the lead, but the Eagles pulled the game level once again before captain Ikhinmwin restored the two-point advantage and when Dixon made it a fourp-oint lead with a minute to go the contest became a game of fouls.
The Lions’ defensive performance was outstanding for the full 40 minutes and never better than when Dixon blocked a shot in the final minute.
Lions host Worcester Wolves on Friday (February 9, 7.30pm).