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Report: Newcastle Eagles 93-70 Bristol Flyers

A second-half capitulation saw Flyers fall to a big defeat away at Newcastle Eagles despite leading by 13 points at the half.

Leslee Smith top scored for Flyers with 24 points but it was Jaysean Paige (32 points) and Saah Nimley (27 points) who made the difference in Coach Andreas Kapoulas' final game before he travels to Australia to coach England at the Commonwealth Games.

Box Score


What happened

Coach K's men started the game with a much higher intensity than they showed at the Copper Box Arena in midweek, Flyers won the tip and Smith sunk the three after a round the back assist from Jordan Davis.

Bristol were crashing the boards well early on with 18 rebounds in the first quarter compared to Eagles' 11. Flyers went on an 11-3 run thanks to this superiority on rebounds to create a nine-point lead, 5-14.

Eagles struggled to cope with the physicality the away side were showing. Smith, who scored 17 points in the loss at Lions, embodied this approach, grabbing 16 points, five rebounds and two assists in the opening period alone.

Flyers holding a fourteen-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 14-28.

Bristol kept up the intensity as the second began, Eagles were simply not getting any open looks at the basket, helping Flyers to up their lead to 16.

The home side had a glimmer of hope midway through the second quarter as Smith got himself into foul trouble heading to the bench for the rest of the half after his third personal.

They had a reprieve shortly after as Mike Vigor only made one free throw attempts after being sent to the line by Eagles for three.

Paige was punished for an unsportsmanlike foul to allow Rohndell Goodwin to sink both free throws to keep Flyers in a commanding lead, 29-44 with two minutes to play in the half.

Paige however quickly made amends to grab two three pointers in quick succession to cut the lead down to nine.

Kapoulas called a timeout immediately to halt Eagles momentum, Edozie emphatically dunking to put the lead back into the double digits on the next possession.

Goodwin hit a pivotal three effectively on the buzzer to hand Bristol a thirteen-point lead at the half, 36-49.

The second half began with Nimley hitting his first successful three of the evening following two missed attempts in the first-half.

A nice hook shot from Vigor and a lay-up from Goodwin put Flyers back up by 15.

Eagles were putting some better plays together as Flyers' eased off a little, Nimley hitting another three to cut the lead to eight points.

With Newcastle capable of putting together quick scoring runs, Coach K chose this moment to call another timeout to again attempt to stunt Eagles' momentum.

The home side continued where they left off however - Nimley with yet another three to get Eagles within four points.

A fast-break that ended with that man Nimley to put Eagles up 60-59 with a minute left to play in the third.

Nimley got yet another three to give Eagles a 32-12 third quarter and see the home side up 68-61.

Paige was now also beginning to cause Flyers problems, shooting a three to put Eagles into a double digit lead as the fourth quarter began.

A pair of Adam Weary free throws was cancelled out by another Paige three who then got the steal on the defensive end as Flyers tried to get back into it.

It was a complete role reversal from the first-half as Newcastle upped their defensive intensity with Flyers struggling to get a shot away without a home hand in their face.

Flyers had the look of a boxer on the ropes as they visibly tired as the fourth and final quarter wore on, Eagles riding into the distance to a 23-point win, 93-70.


Next home game

Bristol Flyers v Cheshire Phoenix 
BBL Championship
Saturday, March 24th (7.30pm)

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