BBL Championship: Worcester end Newcastle's winning run

Chavis Holmes
Chavis Holmes (centre) hit 24 points as Worcester beat Newcastle

Worcester Wolves closed the gap at the top of the BBL Championship by ending Newcastle Eagles' 19-game winning streak with a 99-91 victory on Friday.

Newcastle went into the game four points ahead of second-placed Worcester and had not lost since an opening day home defeat by Wolves.

But Paul James' side held off a late fightback from the reigning champions to inflict a second loss of the season.

Chavis Holmes hit some late free throws to lead all scorers with 24 points.

The result means Worcester claim the crucial head-to-head tie-breaker - which separates the teams should they finish with the same record.

"We know they are a top team in this league so Friday gave us an opportunity to see how much we've improved," said Wolves guard Holmes.

"We don't care about their winning streak, we just wanted to compete.

"We wanted to match their intensity and make them work on defence just like they made us work.

"We are starting to gel more, but when we don't beat ourselves and have mental lapses, we are a tough team to beat, all we can do is control what we can and let the rest fall into place."

BBL Championship results 9-10 Jan
Friday, 9 January
Leeds Force 78-93 Plymouth Raiders
Sheffield Sharks 82-95 Cheshire Phoenix
Worcester Wolves 99-91 Newcastle Eagles
Saturday, 10 January
Bristol Flyers 59-82 Leicester Riders
Surrey United 80-78 Durham Wildcats

Cheshire Phoenix now hold the league's longest winning run after beating Sheffield Sharks 95-82 to record their 10th straight success, behind 28 points from Mike DiNunno.

Brent Benson posted the highest individual points tally of the season so far with his 38 points leading Plymouth Raiders to a 93-80 win at Leeds Force.

Surrey United halted a run of six straight defeats by edging Durham Wildcats 80-78 as Kramer Knutson settled the contest in the closing stages of overtime.

Leicester Riders remain level on points with third-placed Phoenix as they triumphed 82-59 against Bristol Flyers.