Report: Bristol Flyers 83-90 Leicester Riders
Saturday, February 16th 2019
Bristol Flyers are still searching for their first BBL win over Leicester Riders, following a seven point defeat at the SGS College Arena.
Jalan McCloud led all scorers with 23 points on 71% shooting from two point range, whilst Tevin Falzon had a superb game off the bench with a near double-double of 17 points and nine rebounds.
Flyers started the game in familiar style, finding Justin Gray for a trademark pull-up jump shot at the elbow. Unlike previous occasions the shot did not fall; a worrying portent of further misses to come. McCloud grabbed an errant pass and found Delpeche for a lay-up. Flyers' defenisve intensity remained high with another stolen pass by Fred Thomas finding Delpeche on the break but he could not convert the score. Thomas came up with another stop, blocking Jamell Anderson at the rim. McCloud hit the pull-up jump shot to extend the early lead.
JR Holder was able to get the line for some early points. Conner Washington followed with a pull-up three-pointer. McCloud quickly answered with a triple of his own. Hampton was able to get into the point and grab his own miss for two second-chance points to tie the game.
Gray found his range with a turnaround jump shot to give Flyers a six point lead. Returning Riders guard Brandon Clark capped off a 7-0 run with a made three to give Riders back the lead. Flyers kept it close behind a three from Gray and a big put back dunk from Daniel Edozie. Riders opened up a 20-24 lead at the free-throw line at the end of the quarter.
Edozie stayed active on the offensive glass, tipping in an errant free throw into a made dunk. Fouls continued to plague the Flyers with Riders making multiple trips to the free throw line. McCloud was irrepressible off the dribble, sinking a high-arcing shot over their defence. Riders ball movement at the perimeter found them multiple open shots with JR Holder and Pierre Hampton both sinking three-pointers to extend the lead.
Thomas connected from mid-range then found Panos Mayindombe on the arc for a three to stem the bleeding. Riders Captain Andrew Thompson was next to knock down an open three-pointer, but with Riders' lead growing, McCloud took control for the final possession of the period, driving through the defence for another lay-up. The teams headed to the locker rooms with Flyers behind 37-50.
Chris Taylor made a nice drive and dish for a Delpeche dunk, but England International Jamell Anderson responded with another three. Washington hit a pull-up from midrange to give Riders their biggest lead of the game at 21 points. McCloud kept his head up despite the margin and was able to penetrate and score on back to back possessions. Falzon rejected a Hampton shot attempt at the rim and then made it to the free throw line himself for two easy points. Falzon found himself with the ball at the top of the arc and hit an agile step-back three-pointer. McCloud made another steal and Falzon was there to tip-in the missed lay-up. A huge three from Justin Gray finished the third quarter 58-72.
The fourth quarter opened with the two teams trading baskets. Falzon hit another big three to close in on Riders - he got to the line and converted both free throws next time down. Riders were suddenly cold and another McCloud driving lay-up cut the lead to eleven and forced a Coach Paternostro timeout.
Fred Thomas hit a big time three to cut the lead to single digits but Holder was able to get to the line himself to put some points up for Riders. McCloud connected with a step back two, but a dagger three from Washington put the lead back in double figures. Falzon hit a driving lay-up, but Riders continued to find a basket when they needed one. Falzon and Gray kept the pressure on heading into the final minute but Riders were able to hold onto their lead as the time expired on another Flyers comeback that came up a little short.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.