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Bristol Flyers 2015/16 Season Review: January

We continue to look back at Bristol Flyers 2015/16 season with a review of January.

Friday, January 8th 2016: Sheffield Sharks 70-43 Bristol Flyers

Fresh off a two-week break after concluding 2015 with a defeat to Leicester Riders, Flyers travelled to Sheffield to secure their first win of 2016. Whether it was rust or Sheffield's potent offence Bristol found themselves down 17-10 after the first quarter. Sharks increased their lead to 11 midway through the second, before a couple of threes from Mathias Seilund saw Coach Kapoulas' men get within two points of Sheffield.

Out of rhythm following the Christmas break, Flyers endured a terrible run of almost six minutes without scoring, falling 18 points behind. Despite another offensive spurt from Seilund, Flyers found themselves down 44-27 with six minutes left to play in the third quarter.

Bristol were often the architects of their own downfall in the third with a series of poor turnovers seeing Sharks continue their dominance, up by 20 heading into the final quarter, 55-35. There was to be no big fourth quarter comeback from Flyers as Sharks closed out the game, winning 70-43. Mathias Seilund top-scored for Flyers with 15 points.

Saturday, January 9th 2016: Worcester Wolves 83-76 Bristol Flyers OT (BBL Trophy)

After suffering a heavy defeat away to Sharks, Bristol hosted Worcester Wolves in the first round of the BBL trophy. Flyers started well, with Cardell McFarland shooting 100% for the opening quarter. Wolves fought their way back into the game, drawing fouls and getting to the line often. Both teams were unable to take control of the game, as they traded the lead with each play. As the game entered its final quarter, Worcester led 56-60.

Bristol hounded the Wolves defensively throughout the fourth, but Worcester kept their composure and continued to score. The visitors took the lead but Flyers continued to battle from behind, buoyed by the electric home crowd. In a frantic finish to the fourth quarter, Worcester missed two clutch free throws and Tyrone Lee hit a bucket to tie the game. The home crowd's deafening chant of defence was silenced as the Wolves scored again. McFarland came back again and hit a reverse lay up to tie it up. 73 points apiece and heading to overtime.

Worcester only led by a basket and had plenty of opportunities to put the nail in the coffin early on, but missed key free throws down the stretch. The Wolves endured their woes at the free throw line, finally sinking timely foul shots. The Flyers were down by three and suffocated by the defence, they could not find a shot committing a shot clock violation, ultimately sealing their fate 76-83.

Sunday, January 24th 2016: Glasgow Rocks 87-58 Bristol Flyers

Two weeks since their last game, Flyers were chomping at the bit to erase their early 2016 struggles. Bristol faced further adversity, as they would have to face the Glasgow Rocks without Tyrone Lee and Doug McLaughlin- Williams. The home side made a 15-4 start and never looked back as the Flyers were unable to get into rhythm on offence.

At the end of the first, Glasgow were up by 12, and the lead would remain in double digits for the majority of the game, though the Flyers did cut the gap to seven briefly in the second. The Rocks began to push on in the second half and a 13-2 run saw them open up a 21-point cushion at the end of the third period. There was no let up in the fourth, and the advantage peaked at 31 points following an 8-0 run.

Cardell McFarland paced the Flyers with 18 points as they dropped to their third straight league defeat, falling to a 5-12 record on the season.

Saturday, January 30th 2016: Bristol Flyers 88-67 Leeds Force

Following a big loss against the Glasgow Rocks, Bristol had an opportunity to close the month of January with a win at home. Flyers hoped to get back on track as they hosted Leeds Force at the SGS WISE Arena. Flyers opened the quarter with three straight three-pointers in quick succession, jumping out to a rare early double-digit lead. Bristol turned up the heat defensively, pressuring Leeds' guards, picking off stray passes and streaming out for fast breaks. The only thing that could stop the Flyers was an official's time out to rearrange the basket stanchion, after Daniel Edozie's two-handed slam. Bristol charged out to a 21-point lead ending the quarter 37-16.

The assault continued after the break, McFarland hitting a step-back, no-look assist to Mathias Seilund for an easy layup. Force searched in vain to contain a red hot Flyers squad, but the home team elevated their game even higher. Roy Owen opened the third with six straight points; a shot clock beating three-pointer and converted and-one. Daniel Edozie would follow with an 18-foot jump-shot at the top of the key and multiple trips to the foul line on his way to nine points on the night. The Flyers would enjoy a 16-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Leeds burst out into the final period with the intent to push the pace, but Bristol ran with them. Trading baskets, the home team held their composure and kept their large lead. The Force continued to run the break but were grounded by Flyers' defence, which was epitomised by Seilund's chase down block. In an end-to-end final quarter, Bristol ultimately cruised to an 88-67 victory.