Wolves men's longest trip of the season ended in defeat as they returned from Newcastle with a 96-76 loss, on Saturday.
The loss of influential guard/forward AJ Roberts with a back injury after just five minutes gave Thomas Baker's team an uphill battle and despite outscoring the high-flying hosts in the second and fourth periods they never looked likely to record their fifth league victory of the season.
Jordan Santiago led the visitors' scoring with 22 points, adding five rebounds, three steals and as many assists, while Kane Daley had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Ahmed Ketiri had ten of his 14 points in the first half, adding seven rebounds, while James Cummings chipped in with nine points as he continued his return from injury.
Ronald Blain again led Newcastle, finishing with a 29 point, ten rebound double and adding five assists, while Jack Cork and Brandon Federici each had 23 points - the former adding ten rebounds - and David Moya had nine points to go with his 11 assists.
Cummings' single free-throw was the only score of the first four minutes as Newcastle rushed into a 12-1 lead before Ketiri scored the visitors' first field goal.
Treys from Ketiri and Daley saw Wolves stay in touch at 25-15 and scores from Cummings and Oliver Wright saw them cut the deficit to 25-19 at the first break.
A pair of Obi Egbunike jump shots kept Wolves in touch early in the second period and Ketiri made it a four point game after three minutes before Santiago cut the deficit with a trey. That was as close as the visitors came, but they stayed in touch and another Santiago triple saw them still in the game as Kabengele gave Newcastle a 49-44 lead going into the locker room.
The hosts opened the second period on a 9-2 run, only Santiago troubling the scorers, and the quarter proved to be little short of a disaster for Wolves as they were outscored 32-13, and despite triples from Seth Wylie and Cummings they went into the final break 81-57 down.
Egbunike opened the fourth period scoring, but although Wolves edged the scoring in final frame the home side comfortably held on to keep their top four hopes alive.
The sides meet again at Oaklands on Sunday afternoon.