Basketball: Smith steals in to cap Newcastle's fightback

By Richard Taylor
Saturday 06 March 2004 01:00

Newcastle Eagles fought back from 21 points down to defeat Scottish Rocks 104-97 after overtime last night at Telewest Arena, just 24 hours after they defeated the champions Sheffield Sharks to complete a remarkable double.

Eagles' 96-89 defeat of Sheffield on Thursday all but ended the champions hopes of successfully defending their title and left Brighton Bears two points clear from one game less. Bears are at home to Thames Valley Tigers tonight.

Eagles, understandably, were slow to hit top gear last night and an 11-0 Rocks run, including nine points from Phil Perre, put the Glasgow club 63-45 ahead before they held their biggest lead at 75-54.

But Newcastle poured in 13 unanswered points, with five each from Shawn Myers and Jeremy Hyatt to tie the game on 86-86 with two minutes to go. Jerry Williams put the Rocks 90-88 ahead with 14 seconds to go and when Hyatt missed his team-mate Steve Mercer rebounded and scored for Newcastle to send the game into overtime on 90-90.

Rocks led 96-95 with one minute to play before Charles Smith won the game for Newcastle, first completing a four-point play then hitting a three-pointer.

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