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Bristol Flyers 2015/16 Season Review: November

Bristol Flyers' 2015/16 season reached its most challenging point in November, as our month-by-month season review continues.

Saturday, November 7th 2015: Bristol Flyers 58-67 Glasgow Rocks

In the first of a back to back, the Bristol Flyers looked to secure their second straight home win against the visiting Glasgow Rocks. The home team opened the game struggling to score, shooting just 36% from the field, a stretch which saw Bristol only score six points in the opening six minutes. Flyers' poor shooting allowed the Rocks to push the ball and score easily in transition, to build an ealy lead.

Mid way through the half, Cardell McFarland rose up for a long 3-pointer but landed hard on his ankle. Unsure of the extent of his injury, he was taken off court and would not return for the rest of the game.

In the absence of McFarland, Bristol turned to their defence to claw their way back. Flyers' defence opened the final period as ferocious as ever. Glasgow took advantage and drew a number of quick fouls on the Flyers, putting them into the penalty for the final six and half minutes of the game. This ultimately closed the door on the comeback. For every Bristol run, Glasgow drew fouls and shot free throws. The Rocks pulled away with the score 58-67 at the final buzzer.

Sunday, November 8th 2015: Surrey Scorchers 72-80 Bristol Flyers

After suffering their sixth league defeat, Bristol Flyers went in search of a win against the Surrey Scorchers on the road. Scorchers had beaten Flyers on the opening day of the season, but Bristol were well poised to get some revenge. Though the hosts took control early on, Flyers stormed back with a 17-4 run that gave them a 21-30 lead.

Flyers were without their leading scorer, Cardell McFarland, who missed the game through injury. Despite the absence of McFarland, Bristol's offence looked sharp and balanced, resulting in five players scoring double figures. The visitors saw their lead balloon to as many as 18, before Surrey mounted a come back.

The home team hit back with an 11-1 run, but back-to-back baskets from Tyrone Lee helped to stop the bleeding. Led by Mathias Seilund with 18 points, Flyers maintained their advantage and came away with a vital victory on the road.

Take a look through some of the best Bristol Flyers images from October of the 2015/16 season.

Sunday, November 15th 2015: Cheshire Phoenix 72-60 Bristol Flyers (BBL Cup Quarter-Final)

Bristol entered the game against Cheshire, knowing that the winner would earn a place in the semi-final of the cup to face defending champions Newcastle Eagles. Desperate to return to the final four for the second straight year, Flyers took an early advantage with a 8-0 run. Phoenix wrestled control away from Bristol in a 19-4 spell for a strong finish to the first period, giving the hosts a 13 point lead. 

Flyers stormed back into the game after the break, scoring seven straight points to close the gap. Flyers had fought their way back into the game, but as play resumed in the third quarter, Phoenix responded and took their lead back up to 15 points. 

The home side managed to maintain their stronghold on the game, and their advantage grew to as many as 16 in the final quarter as they closed on the win. Though still without their leading scorer, Cardell McFarland, Bristol did close to within ten inside the final two minutes. This, however would not be enough, as Cheshire secured their progression in the Cup.

Friday, November 20th 2015: Bristol Flyers 57-84 London Lions 

Back at home, Bristol weclomed their Flyers faithful and the London Lions to the SGS WISE Arena. Doug McLaughlin-Williams opened the scoring with a three-pointer, Lions answered straight back with a three of their own. Tyrone Lee set the tone early on with a head fake, spin and drive to the hole for the layup. Lee then managed to thread the needle with an assist to Daniel Edozie for the easy two points. Despite shooting just 11% from the three point line, Flyers battled to close the quarter 15-18.

Lions looked to put the brakes on, they took the pace out of the contest that had suited Flyers early on. London deployed their trap defence and it was starting to pay off, forcing multiple turnovers. To make matters worse, Tyrone Lee was taken off, walking gingerly after a block attempt and would not return to the game. 

Flyers found themselves in a 13 point hole. A step back two from McLaughlin-Williams ignited a run from the Flyers. A Roy Owen finger roll and three converted free throws from McLaughlin-Williams cut the deficit to five. Another sell-out saw the home crowd as deafening as ever at the SGS WISE Arena as the fans came alive with this Flyers run. The comeback proved short-lived however, as the game became chippy. After an altercation between Greg Streete and Lions' Jamal Williams, a triple technical foul was called. Smelling blood, the Lions' second unit finished the game, handing the Flyers their seventh loss of the season 57-84.

Saturday, November 28th 2015: Bristol Flyers 70 -83 Worcester Wolves

Coach Kapoulas had the luxury of a fully fit roster to choose from this week having seen his side struggle in recent games due to injury. Captain Greg Streete got the Flyers' first points on the board with an early layup before Doug McLaughlin-Williams sunk the open three, to put the home side into an early lead. Wolves began to find some offensive rhythm as the quarter progressed, improved shooting eating into the home side's lead. Javier Mugica completed the comeback on the buzzer to see Wolves up by two at the end of the first, 19-21.

Worcester started the second the stronger, stretching the lead to seven points as they began to look more like a team third in the BBL. A six point run from Coach K's men, capped off by a big three from McLaughlin-Williams saw the deficit reduced to one, as Flyers ensured they weren't cut adrift. Another big three from Flyers' long-serving American, and a silky piece of play from McFarland had the home crowd on their feet to tie the game.

Stronger defensive work coupled with more consistent shooting saw Wolves begin to take a grip on the game, opening up a five point lead as the third quarter progressed. The WISE crowd were out of their seats twice in quick succession thanks to two emphatic plays from Tyrone Lee. As the contest wore on, Worcester stretched their lead to twelve points. Flyers struggled to keep up the intensity they had shown earlier in the game and looked visibly tired. Wolves showed their depth, Coach James making full use of his bench with eight players getting over fifteen minutes game time each. Flyers never really threatened a comeback as Wolves, led by Josh Cameron with 19 points, closed out the game.

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