Basketball: Newcastle overcome Brighton on the road to clean sweep

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The Independent Online

Newcastle Eagles survived a dogged Brighton Bears fight-back in the quarter-finals on Tyneside last night to win 78-74 and keep alive their quest for a clean sweep of domestic honours.

The victory ended a troubled week for the club that has already won the British Basketball League's championship as well as the cup and trophy competitions. The Eagles suspended their 6ft 7in high-scoring American Jeremy Hyatt after he was convicted this week of two driving offences committed in March, subsequent to having been banned from driving for three years in January.

Brighton's Jerry Williams and Terrance McGee brought Brighton back to trail 77-74 with 30 seconds remaining in the match before Andrew Bridge scored the final point from the free-throw line.

The Guildford Heat coach Paul James believes that his players will hit the revs again tonight when they face London Towers in what should be the closest of the quarter-finals, between the fourth- and fifth-placed teams. The Heat ended with a 20-20 win-loss record after defeats in their final two regular-season games left them below the Towers. James said: "I'm not too worried because we had taken our foot of the pedal."

The third-placed Sheffield Sharks are at home tomorrow to the sixth-placed Leicester Riders, while in the other quarter-final tomorrow the second-placed Scottish Rocks face last season's league champions the Chester Jets, who finished seventh. The Rocks broke a four-game losing streak with a league win at Chester last weekend.

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