Moses bas­kets en­sure Wolves are cast adrift

FOR­WARD POW­ERS ON

Sunday Sun - - Basketball - Jeff King

NEWCASTLE Ea­gles needed Fri­day’s 97-89 win against Worces­ter Wolves to put them back on track.

Af­ter the pre­vi­ous week­end’s dou­ble re­ver­sal at the hands of Leicester and Bris­tol, it was a timely boost as the Ea­gles have some tough games com­ing up in both the BBL Cham­pi­onship and Cup.

In what was a tight and keenly fought con­test, Newcastle over­came a re­silient bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble Wolves side through­out 40 pul­sat­ing min­utes.

The hosts needed a hero – and that man was Vic­tor Moses.

The Amer­i­can power for­ward turned in a sub­lime in­di­vid­ual per­for­mance, net­ting 31 points, grab­bing 15 re­bounds and block­ing four shots to lead his side to the hard­fought vic­tory.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, he was in a happy mood af­ter the fi­nal buzzer.

“It was good to get back on a win­ning track to­day,” he said.

“I think the key was our de­fen­sive re­bound­ing. We’ve been get­ting out­re­bounded the last cou­ple of games we lost so we had to key in on that as one of the ad­just­ments we needed and we did a good job of that.”

Moses def­i­nitely played a huge part in that re­bound­ing ef­fort and th­ese days seems like an al­most au­to­matic dou­ble-dou­ble (points/ re­bounds) show­ing why the Ea­gles brought him to Newcastle.

He was just as key on the of­fen­sive end turn­ing re­bounds in to key scores to help his side.

“I saw that a lot of our shots were short and I had to come and make a few plays and for­tu­nately they fell in to my hands.

“But it was not just me, it was a good all-round team ef­fort. Jeremy (Smith) is a great player and he’s al­ways go­ing to give us a spark whether it’s off the bench or start­ing and Dar­ius (De­foe) is a BBL vet­eran and you know what to ex­pect from him as he’s done it for years.”

Smith was ter­rific hav­ing 27 points in just over 25 min­utes on court while De­foe, rel­ish­ing his new role this sea­son com­ing off the bench, was once again in dou­ble fig­ures and played a huge role de­fen­sively to stave off the hun­gry Wolves.

Ea­gles also had to play the en­tire fi­nal quar­ter with­out stand-out point guard Rah­mon Fletcher af­ter the play­maker tweaked a ham­string late in the third pe­riod forc­ing him out of the game.

That’s when Moses re­ally stepped up and found spots to pun­ish Worces­ter.

“I’m get­ting used to play­ing with all of th­ese guys,” said Moses.

“So, whether some­one comes out of the game in­jured some­body al­ways seems to fill in and is ready to play and I’ve just got to ad­just to that. It was a hard-work­ing week in prac­tice and I think that work paid off tonight.”

Newcastle’s next game is on Fri­day against Cheshire Phoenix at Sport Cen­tral.

The Ea­gles beat Phoenix 70-65 in the sea­son’s opener in Septem­ber. That game is fol­lowed by a cup quar­ter-fi­nal on Satur­day in Leicester.

“It was kind of slow start when we played Cheshire last time out but we’ve im­proved so I think we’ll be ready for them and it’ll be a lot bet­ter this time around,” said Moses.

“Hope­fully can get a win that will take us into the Leicester game with a boost.”

Newcastle Ea­gles’Vic­tor Moses shoots the ball against Worces­ter Wolves

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