Newcastle Eagles made it four wins from four games in the BBL title race with a battling 100-88 win over the MK Lions at Sport Central.
Newcastle guard Paul Gause missed the game with a calf injury but his team did not struggle without him in this impressive victory.
Joe Chapman led the North East side with 23 points with Andrew Thomson and Charles Smith collecting 21 points each.
In light of the Lions recent poor performances, they started brightly and put on a great courageous effort. In a high scoring first period, the Lions were unfortunate to trail by 25-27 in an entertaining opening to the game.
Chapman began to find his form in the second quarter constructing a 17-4 run which gained them a double digit advantage. Chapman fired an amazing 15 points in that quarter alone for his team to lead 55-45 at halftime.
The Lions came roaring back in the second half scoring the first ten points but Coach Fab Flournoy called a Timeout to calm his side down. The strategy worked as the eagles responded in fine style with an unanswered 9-point burst to get a grip on the game.
The MK trio of Demarius Bolds who top scored with 25 personal, Crawford and Northern continued to work strenuously to cut the deficit to 74-69.
In the final ten minutes, the lead began to slip away from the Lions as Thomson and Chapman racked up more points for the home side. Mike New’s Lions managed to make it a one shot game with two minutes to play, but Newcastle held on to remain on top of the BBL standings.