GAME REPORT: Agonising Rocks loss with less than a second remaining

Glasgow Rocks 83 – 85 Newcastle Eagles

Match report by Alan Caldwell

A down to the wire contest at the Emirates Arena between the Glasgow Rocks and the Newcastle Eagles, however, it is the Eagles who ultimately come away with the win after some late game drama.

The first quarter started off with the Eagles coming fast out the block, they scored the first four points in the contest before Julius Van Sauers got fouled on a layup which he then converted for a three point play.

Looking to keep attacking early on in the first quarter it was Van Sauers, who again bullied his way into the lane before getting another layup to fall, which was followed up by another Rocks layup from Marc Kwedi as Glasgow looked to attack the paint early in the contest.

Despite this, it was the Eagles who got off to a better start in the contest as they lead half way through the first quarter 12-8, before going on a 9-0 run to give Newcastle a double digit lead in the game.

The bright spark in the first quarter for the Rocks continued to be Julius Van Sauers as he made his fourth field goal in the paint, giving him a guy nine points after the first quarter, however, it is the Eagles who lead the ball game 28-15 after quarter number one.

The second quarter started much better for Glasgow as it was them who scored the first four points in this quarter, thanks to a driving layup from Isa Brandon and two made free throws from David Mpondo helped cut the Newcastle lead back down to single digits.

The Rocks continued their impressive start to the second quarter as Fergus Harte came off the bench and caught on fire immediately, draining a corner three which he then followed up with two made jump shots to give him a quick seven points in just four minutes of action which helped cut the Newcastle lead down to just four on the game.

Going into the interval, the Eagles again started to push the lead back out, looking to get it to double digits again, however, Jonny Bunyan had other ideas, he hit his second three of the game before Fraser Malcom drove into the lane and finished at the rim with a layup.

Things only got better for the Rocks going into halftime as Mpondo hit a three pointer, before Fergus Harte scored with a driving layup right at the buzzer to give Glasgow a 47-44 lead.

Still all to play for in the second half, it was Fraser Malcom who hit his first three of the game, which was followed up by a jump shot from Van Sauers and another made three by Malcom, clearly finding his shot in the third quarter which helped maintain the Rocks lead in the game.

Despite this, the Newcastle Eagles tied the game up at 60, before taking back the lead on the game with two minutes left in the third quarter, however, it was Mpondo who drove all the way to the rim through contact to finish and convert the three point play.

A low scoring quarter from both teams as the Eagles out score Glasgow 21-15 in the third quarter to retake the lead 65-62 going into the fourth quarter.

A close encounter between both teams with all left to play for in the fourth quarter, it was Mpondo who hit his second three to tie up the game before Jacdonmi finished at the rim with a dunk to get the Rocks off to a promising start in the fourth.

Things got better for the Rocks as they opened up the fourth quarter on a 10-3 run, capped off by a big three from Marc Kwedi to put the Rocks up by five points in the contest.

Despite this, in just under a minute of play, the Eagles go on a 6-0 run of their own to retake the lead, before Jacdonmi finished at the rim to give Glasgow back a lead, with it swinging both ways down the stretch.

Tied at 80 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Jacdonmi grabbed a huge offensive rebound which he then kicked out to Jonny Bunyan, who hit a clutch three pointer to put Glasgow up by three, however the game was again tied up as a Newcastle and one opportunity tied the game up before late free throws on an inbound play for Newcastle sent them to the line where they hit both free throws and won the contest 85-83.

A great team performance from the Rocks which saw six players score double digit points including a team high 15 from David Mpondo coming off the bench.

Next up for the Rocks is a midweek game on Thursday night, away to the Cheshire Phoenix for a 6pm tip-off.

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