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Report: Bristol Flyers 73-72 London Lions

Bristol Flyers secured an important victory and swept the season series against the visiting London Lions. Bristol won a hard fought game on a Brandon Boggs buzzer beater to get the 73-72 win.

Led by Aaron Cosby with 17 points and five assists Flyers move to 9-14 for the season preparing for a playoff push. 

What Happened

Daniel Edozie opened the scoring for the Flyers with two made free throws. Bristol's defence set the tone as the contest began, forcing London to shoot 13 for 49 for the first half. Lions went at the Flyers' defence early on but came up short. Hameed Ali stole the ball and connected with Aaron Cosby for the alley-oop.

Flyers came up with another steal which eventually led to Ali scoring on the break. London called for time and Joe Ikhinmwin responded, on his way to 10 first quarter points the Lions Captain single-handedly kept the visitors in the game.

Bristol turned their defence into offence and continued to attack, building a slim lead half-way through the first by shooting above 55% from the field.

Edozie capped off another offensive spurt on a beautiful baseline drive and reverse lay-up. Bristol worked the ball around finding the open man. Bristol big man Mike Vigor benefited from their free flowing offence scoring 11 points for the half, to keep their advantage heading into the break 26-19.Tightly Contested Hameed Ali tussles with a London Lions player for the ball

Lions came into the second half attempting to confuse the Flyers' defence, using their guards speed to come off multiple off-ball screens. This freed up their offence allowing them to score with more regularity. Not only did the off-ball screens provide the visitors with open shots but it took the home team out of rebounding possession, giving Lions a 29-21 rebounding edge for the half.

Lions took advantage of the extra possessions and chipped away at the Flyers lead. But as soon as London threatened to close in on Bristol, Flyers found Ali in the corner for another three-pointer. Lions charged back to get a quick score but Edozie swatted the effort out of bounds.

Lions applied defensive pressure in an effort to contain Ali, forcing a turnover but failing to convert on a shot attempt. Boggs then snatched the rebound out of the air and went coast-to-coast for the fastbreak lay-up. Bristol led 44-33 at half time.

Lions opened up the second half establishing their leading scorer, Richard Hassan, as their main offensive weapon, isolating him in the post for the score. But Boggs responded with two three-pointers in quick succession, pushing the momentum Bristol's way.

Lions countered with Hassan scoring on the next two possessions, cutting the Flyers' lead to just ten. Seeing the home lead diminish, Cosby slashed to the rim for the score to protect the Bristol double digit cushion. Lions kept the offensive pressure and got within four points, but Flyers finished the third strong and went into the final period leading 62-56.

The fourth quarter opened with Lions charging back at Flyers, as they outscored the Bristol team 12-5 to make it a one possession game.

The game remained closed for the majority of the fourth as both teams struggled to score, until London took a one point lead on a Hassan inside jump-shot. In the final three minutes Cosby was fouled, converted one free throw but missed the next to make it a tie ball game. Though Lions scored on the following possession, Cosby came back to thread the needle to find Edozie for the score.

The resilient London-based side answered with a Taylor two-pointer for a 72-70 lead.

Flyers had the ball at the baseline with 14 seconds remaining. Following a missed shot attempt, the ball bounced around to Boggs who without hesitation hit the clutch three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Flyers the win.

Key Moment

 

Lions had an impressive second half behind their leading scorer Hassan, who scored 16 points over the last two quarters. London came all the way back to lead the game by a point.

In an attempt to tie the game, Cosby drove and had the ball stopped out of bounds. London played some tough defence to force Flyers into rush their shot. The ball fumbled around and found its way to Boggs, the Flyers wing rose up for the game saving three-pointer and hit nothing but net. Flyers won at the horn 73-72. 

Photo Of The Game

Alley Oop! Cosby makes the alley oop early in the game.

All match imagery supplied by JMPUK.

Heineken Player Of The Game

Brandon Boggs recorded 16 points, 5 rebounds and an assist.

Social Media Post Of The Game

Game Leaders

Aaron Cosby - 17 points and 5 assists

Richard Hassan - 18 points and 9 rebounds

Stats

Box Score: http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/BBL/307330/