(Photo: Jack Hinds)
Lancashire ends a stretch of three-straight road games when it visits fourth-placed Northumbria on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 3pm at the Benfield Sports Centre in Newcastle.
The Spinners (17-7, 8-5 NBL1) split a weekend set losing to Essex Leopards before securing a bizarre overtime win against London Lituanica the following the day.
Steven Gayle scored a season-high 31 points with 25 coming after halftime. The bulk of his scoring was done at the free throw line where he was 15 for 16 – Lancashire made 26 of its 34 attempts from the stripe.
The Bury-based club can finished anywhere from fourth to eighth place in the standings at the end of the weekend as there is a four-way tie on 16 points. A win would help the hosts keep pace with league leaders Manchester Magic (24-2, 12-1).
Northumbria (14-6, 8-3) is looking to match its longest league winning-streak of three games having already defeated the Leopards and Tees Valley behind 23 points from Neil Randolph.
Sunday will be the fourth meeting this season between the two with Lancashire holding a 2-1 record head-to-head. Though Northumbria claimed an 81-74 league win on Oct. 24.
The Spinners’ two wins came in the National Trophy group stage and National Cup third round.
Connor Murtagh, who record just two points versus London and a total of 10 over the last two games, remains the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in divisional play with 14.8 and 6.5 per game, respectively. He’s shooting just over 50% for the season and 53% in Division One.
The forward has not led the Spinners in scoring in an individual game in over two months but he’s has averaged 16 points against Sunday’s opponent, including a 23-point effort in October.
Randolph has matched that effort and his highest output against is 20 points.
Lancashire has a 5-3 road record, 8-3 overall, in league play but is 2-3 in its last five trips away from Castle Leisure Centre.
Northumbria is 6-0 (9-1 overall) at home in the division, scoring 79.8 points whilst only giving up 71.2.