Eagles pile on the agony for hapless Leeds

Leeds Force's Eric Curth, right.
Leeds Force's Eric Curth, right.
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Leeds Force crashed to a 17th consecutive BBL defeat on Friday night, suffering a resounding 114-73 loss against title-chasing Newcastle Eagles.

The high-flying Eagles pulled no punches in the opening exchanges, relentlessly pouring in points to prise open a double-digit lead and race immediately clear of the faltering Force.

German acquisition Eric Curth’s marvellous bounce pass unleashed Leeds skipper Isaac Mourier at the rim as Force finally registered their first points of the contest – not enough to halt a rampant Eagles offense, as Newcastle upped the tempo with a soaring slam from American star Jaysean Paige extending their commanding lead.

A brief Leeds revival led by Kosovan international Gazmend Sinani and Adrian Kuyinu allowed Force to establish a foothold, chipping away at Newcastle’s advantage before a pair of momentum-shattering triples saw the Eagles fend off the away side’s late-quarter rally.

The dominant Eagles gripped their talons around the vulnerable Force in a one-sided second segment, relying on dynamic duo Paige and Saah Nimley to push the pace and put the game’s result beyond doubt.

A sensational spinning finish from Sinani, followed by back-to-back threes from Chris De Sousa and Force captain Mourier helped to slice Newcastle’s lead apart as the clock ticked towards half-time.

Curth’s buzzer-beating triple emphatically ended an impressive spell for Force, leaving Leeds in touching distance heading into the third period. But the unstoppable guard Nimley saw him erupt for four consecutive trebles as the Eagles flew clear.

Leeds refused to give in despite facing a towering deficit, with a similarly spectacular shooting streak from British-American threat Kuyinu sparking an enthralling third quarter battle as both teams exchanged salvos in a closely-fought 10 minutes.

Normality resumed for Newcastle in the final quarter, as a fatigued Force sapped of energy lost any hope with a disastrous defensive effort – haemorrhaging points to the fiery Nimley as Newcastle stormed home.