Report: Bristol Flyers 80-87 Newcastle Eagles
Saturday, January 6th 2018
Bristol Flyers lost their first game of 2018, as they suffered a 80-87 defeat to the visiting Newcastle Eagles.
Despite Rohndell Goodwin leading the way with 19 points and six rebounds and three assists, Flyers were unable to overcome a 19 point second-half deficit.
In their first contest since the Christmas break, Flyers came out strong with Leslee Smith beating his man to the bucket for the lay-up and Goodwin followed up with four straight points.
Newcastle initially responded to keep the score close. Both teams struggled from the field, as Eagles shot 45% and Flyers just 30% for the first quarter.
Despite the shooting woes, Bristol built an early eight point advantage by attacking the basket and drawing eight first quarter free-throws.
The visitors woke up with Jaysean Paige providing two highlight plays; an alley-oop layup and a breakaway two-handed slam dunk.
Eagles' starting backcourt were clicking, combining for 19 first-half points.
Newcastle finally took the lead behind a Saah Nimley transition three-pointer towards the end of the first, 20-26.
Newcastle continued to find their offensive rythythm in the early goings of the second quarter, connecting on their opening two shots to push their lead to eight points.
Bristol recognised the danger of letting Newcastle catch fire, they drowned the visitors' offence with air tight defence. They suffocated Eagles' backcourt for a stretch mid-way through the second period, which resulted in Flyers forcing turnovers and converting on fastbreak opportunities: Jordan Davis connected with Brandon Boggs for the alley-oop lay-up.
Although Flyers were enjoying success on the defensive end, they cooled down in their half court sets; allowing Newcastle to make a late run and establish a 35-43 lead at the half.
Within the first minute of the third, Smith and Goodwin scored on back to back possessions to temporarily close the gap on the visitors. This was countered with an offensive flurry of their own, including two triples from Eagles' Nimley and Darius Defoe splashing from inside.
Eagles' run gave them a 19 point advantage; their largest lead of the game.
In an attempt to cut into the visitors' lead, Goodwin aggressively attacked the basket and missed at close range but Daniel Edozie followed up with a powerful putback dunk.
Flyers kept attacking the basket and Adam Weary had some success by scoring two back to back lay-ups.
Every time Bristol threatened to get back into the game, Newcastle responded with finely executed offence: Paige feeding Defoe with a behind the back pass for the inside score and Nimley connecting again from behind the arc.
Flyers trailed heading into the fourth 53-67.
The fourth quarter opened up at a furious pace, as Flyers were in need of a comeback and Eagles were intent on putting the game to bed early.
Both squads matched each other offensively. This suited Newcastle, as every second that passed worked for the visitors and dampened any chances a comeback.
Halfway through the final period, Bristol launched a barrage from long range with Weary stroking from beyond the arc and Davis scoring back to back threes .
Weary then cut the lead to just 10 with an acrobatic lay-up displaying phenomenal body control to avoid the outreaching arms of his defender.
In the waning moments of the game, Eagles effectively put the contest out of reach with a shot-clock-buzzer-beating Defoe turnaround jumpshot in the lane. Newcastle closed out at the free-throw line.
The final score 80-87.
Subway bristol & west player of the game
Next home game
Bristol Flyers v London Lions
Saturday, January 27th (7.30pm)