BBL: Newcastle Eagles beat Plymouth Raiders to close gap at top of the table
Last Updated: 08/03/14 11:24am
Darius Defoe: Scored 18 points in win over Plymouth Raiders
Newcastle Eagles closed the gap on BBL Championship leaders Worcester Wolves to two points after a 94-74 victory against Plymouth Raiders.
Darius Defoe and Paul Gause combined for 26 points in the first half as the hosts established a 45-31 lead by the interval.
Plymouth reduced the deficit to seven points in the third quarter but Malik Cooke scored seven points in a row as the Eagles pulled away to their 19th win of the season - just one shy of the leaders.
Defoe and Gause finished with 18 points apiece, while Cooke's third-quarter efforts helped him to 16 points, six boards and six assists.
Nick George scored a game-high 22 points for the beaten Raiders, who stay in eighth place with an 11-14 record.
Worcester Wolves were themselves in action in the first leg of their BBL Trophy semi-final clash with Sheffield Sharks. The Wolves, playing away from home, claimed a 62-60 but allowed the Sharks to stay in the tie as they blew a double-digit lead late on.