(Photo: Jack Hinds)
Chuck Duru scored nine fourth quarter points and Northumbria pulled away from the Lancashire Spinners for its third-straight Division One win on Sunday.
Northumbria, who held s 51-48 lead, scored on seven of its first eight possessions to start the fourth quarter in the 78-64 victory.
“We made a lot of key stops down the stretch and credit to Sam [Stewart] and Jack [Preston] for crashing the offensive boards, which allowed us to put the game away,” said Duru who tied for a game-high with 14 points.
Mark Rangeley matched Duru to lead the Spinners (17-8, 8-6 NBL1) with 14 points on 6-for-13 shooting. He also had nine rebounds.
Mike Bernard and Connor Murtagh added 10 each in the loss, which drops Lancashire into eighth in the standings alongside a trio of teams on 16 points.
Northumbria (15-6, 9-3) broke open a 22-11 game in the second quarter using an 11-2 run over a four-minute stretch before being held without a field goal until the 1:19 mark. Rangeley knocked down a 3-pointer sparking a 10-2 response to close the half.
“We can’t be chasing games and it’s happening far too often,” he said. “We need to go all the way back to basics.”
Lancashire erased what had once been a 19-point lead as Murtagh hit back-to-back threes giving the Spinners a 39-38 advantage two and half minutes into the third quarter.
The lead exchanged hands six times in a stretch of six minutes, though the Spinners never held one larger than a point.
“It was the worst we’ve played as a team this year and we’ve taken a big step backwards after the win last week,” said Spinners coach Neal Hopkins. “Today was one of those games where I walked away utterly disappointed with the performance.”
The visitors came up empty on their first five opportunities at the offensive end to start the fourth quarter, including a pair of missed free throws by Bernard.
Murtagh cut the deficit to 57-50 following a steal and dunk in the open court with 7:38 remaining but a 9-2 run pushed the Northumbria lead back to double digits.
Lancashire shot 39.7 percent from the floor (23 for 58) but hit just eight of its 22 attempts from beyond the arc. … The Spinners won the rebounding battle 43-40 but committed 16 turnovers. … Steven Gayle had nine points after scoring 31 in the overtime win against London Lituanica.
Northumbria was 12 of 15 from the line but shot 38.7 percent (29 for 75). … Neil Randolph, who had averaged 16 points against the Spinners, only had 12. … Stewart had 15 total rebounds with 12 coming at the defensive end. … Preston had five offensive boards.
The Spinners host Westminster Warriors at Castle Leisure Centre on Saturday, tipoff 5.45pm.
Northumbria travels to Worthing Thunder, also on Saturday.