Newcastle fight back to beat Plymouth to seal BBL Trophy

Paul Gause

Newcastle Eagles overturned a first-leg deficit to beat the Plymouth Raiders by seven points and win the British Basketball Trophy for the fifth time.

The Raiders held a nine-point aggregate lead after a 97-88 triumph in the first leg, but found themselves trailing 55-41 at the half way stage of the second.

They rallied to restore a one-point overall advantage going into the final quarter, but the Eagles fought back.

Paul Gause and Andrew Thompson helped the hosts to a 96-80 win on the night.

The aggregate score of 184-177 was boosted by Gause's haul of 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists while Andrew Thomson shot 15 points, made 10 rebounds and laid on four assists.

Jeremy Bell was in fine form for the Raiders, bagging 29 points and three assists, but his team-mates were wasteful with their three-point attempts, scoring with just two from 18.

With both teams evenly matched in terms of field goals and free throws, Newcastle's proficiency from three-point range was the difference as they made nine of their 23 attempts.

The night started in uncertain fashion, with tip off initially delayed after the officials turned up late, only for the game to be delayed for several minutes early in the first quarter because of a fault with the shot clock.