BBL Championship: Newcastle continue strong start to season
Newcastle Eagles strengthened their BBL Championship defence with two wins in a weekend to remember for Charles Smith.
Eagles are two points clear at the the top of the table, firstly thrashing Surrey United 105-78 on Friday.
Then on Sunday, they inflicted a first league defeat of the season on title rivals London Lions, winning 69-56.
It was an extra special weekend for Smith, who has been with Newcastle for 15 years, as he passed the milestone of 6,000 career points in the BBL.
"I just feel really blessed to be able to play this long and be so consistent over my career," said Eagles forward Smith, whose tally of 20 against Surrey took him past the landmark.
"We are getting better every day and we had two more good wins. We have come together as a team, everyone is buying into their role and we have a 'team first' attitude."
Leicester Riders maintained their own title challenge as they jumped out to an early 15-point lead to inflict defeat on Bristol Flyers.
|BBL Championship results|
|Friday, 24 October|
|Leeds Force 69-98 Worcester Wolves|
|London Lions 91-63 Plymouth Raiders|
|Newcastle Eagles 105-78 Surrey United|
|Sunday, 26 October|
|Durham Wildcats 84-92 Manchester Giants|
|London Lions 56-69 Newcastle Eagles|
|Plymouth Raiders 73-69 Leeds Force|
|Glasgow Rocks 86-89 Cheshire Phoenix|
|Leicester Riders 83-54 Bristol Flyers|
Last season's play-off winners Worcester Wolves are just behind Riders after Alex Owumi produced a sensational 33-point performance to power them past Leeds Force 98-69.
London Lions beat Plymouth Raiders 91-63 on Friday before falling to Eagles.
Leeds rallied late on against Raiders on Sunday but came up short, losing 73-69, while Manchester Giants edged Durham Wildcats 92-84.
Further north, Glasgow Rocks were beaten 89-86 at home by Cheshire Phoenix as Demond Watt and Mike DiNunno combined for 52 of the visitors' points.
Savannah Wilkinson was the star performer in the WBBL as she poured in 27 points, to go with nine rebounds and six steals, in Barking Abbey Crusaders' 98-44 victory against Oxford City Hoops in the National Cup.
Crusaders also claimed a first league win against Leeds Beckett University while Leicester Riders, who are unbeaten in the league, were shocked at home in the cup 69-59 by Oaklands College Wolves.