Newcastle Eagles began the new year with victory at home.
Newcastle Eagles 71-61 Manchester Mystics (19-25, 32-34, 48-47)
Newcastle Eagles earned their fourth league win of the season thanks to a 71-61 showing against Manchester Mystics.
The result propels the hosts from eighth to sixth position in the table, just two points behind the Mystics who fall to their third loss on the bounce.
Leading scorers – Kalina Axentieva 16, Giulia Simioni 15, Kara Bonenberger 13 (Eagles), Evelyn Ovner 15, Rheanne Bailey 14, Samantha Roscoe/ Julie Page 10 (Mystics)
Turning point – Newcastle turned up the defensive pressure in the second period, holding the Mystics to just nine points in the quarter. The Eagles came out of the half-time break with the same intensity and only conceded 13 points in the third stanza.
Key stat – Although both sides coughed up the ball on 16 occasions, it was Newcastle that made the most of the other team’s mistakes. The Eagles poured in 19 points from turnovers, whereas the Mystics only managed nine.
Game hero(es) – Simioni led a balanced Newcastle display scoring 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter, to go along with 10 assists, while Axentieva netted a game-high 16 points and Bonenberger added 13 points.