Basketball: Towers earn potentially decisive lead

London Towers 92 Newcastle Eagles 74
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The Independent Online
Towers stopped the rot in the first leg of their League Trophy semi-final at Wembley last night and slammed the door on Newcastle's unbeaten 13- game run with a ferocity which should also leave the Eagles out in the cold for next month's final at the NEC.

The trophy holders, at last, took their frustrations out on someone else. Karl Brown and Danny Lewis sparked Towers' second half with a 14-2 run, in immediate response to Newcastle's 10-2 surge, to lead 68-57 at the end of the third.

The lead gave them a platform after a first half riddled with turnovers and missed shots from both teams: Towers hit just three from 15 three- pointers before the break.

Yet, when Rob Phelps had scored on the buzzer to cut their half-time lead to 43-39, Towers looked edgy enough to slip to their fifth defeat in seven games.

Instead, Neville Austin's determined start to the fourth quarter kept London 72-62 ahead, then Lewis' and Brown's free throws won an 85-67 lead. Keith Robinson's calm three-pointer on the buzzer may be the final clause in Towers' insurance policy for next Friday's return.