Report: Bristol Flyers 77-60 Newcastle Eagles
Sunday, May 6th 2018
Bristol Flyers produced a remarkable comeback to reach the BBL play-off semi-finals for the first time, 163-157 on aggregate.
The 77-60 victory was also Flyers' first win over the Eagles in the BBL.
Flyers were led by Jordan Davis with a near triple-double of 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Watch and enjoy. pic.twitter.com/5qpUAb4Q73— Bristol Flyers (@BristolFlyers) May 6, 2018
After losing by 11 points in Newcastle, Flyers entered the contest needing to win by a total of 12 points to advance to the BBL Play-off Semi-Finals.
Bristol came storming out of the gate. Davis had his fingerprints all over the opening minutes. Flyers' point guard opened the scoring by drawing contact on his jumpshot and sinking both free-throws. Davis then drove hard into the Eagles' defence and kicked it to Brandon Boggs for the lay-up.
Flyers strategically forced Newcastle's main offensive weapon, Jaysean Paige, to the bench due to foul trouble.
Bristol's transition defence looked sturdy, as Flyers only allowed the visitors only six first half fastbreak points. The home team's half court defence impressed in the early goings too, as Davis notch four first half steals, and both Adam Weary and Daniel Edozie rejected Newcastle shot attempts.
Bristol's offence showed its versatility; they shared the ball around with 10 assists and seven out of the eight players who played in the first-half scored multiple points each.
Newcastle were uncharacteristically sloppy, as mid-way through the first Eagles were 1-8 from the field; the poor play caused the visitors to call for time. Following the time out, Newcastle slowly started to come back and close the quarter strong.
Despite leading by as many as eight points in the first, Flyers couldn't keep stop Eagles from coming back to tie the game at 19 apiece heading into the second quarter.
The teams traded the buckets to start the second. Eagles took their first lead of the ball game with a Darius Defoe fastbreak lay-up. Defoe rose up again inside, but saw his attempt swatted by Leslee Smith. Flyers gathered the ball and found Mike Vigor on the outside for a three-pointer.
Following a time out, Newcastle started to pull away behind Paige; the American driving baseline and scoring off the glass, then converting on an And-1 attempt.
Bristol answered the call, drawing another foul on Paige to take him out of the game and capitalising on his absence with a quick offensive flurry: Edozie rocked the rim with a two-handed slam and Boggs connected on an inside jumper.
Once Flyers had caught Eagles, they failed to create a sizeable lead and found themselves falling in love with the three-point shot.
The home team attempted 14 three-point shots in the half and only made 4. As a result, Flyers' offence stalled for stretches and the wasted possessions on low percentage shots stopped Bristol taking control of the game. At the half Flyers led 39-33.
Rohndell Goodwin scored five straight points to open the second half, by connecting on his patent step back jumpshot and stroking it from the three-point line.
Taking cue from his teammate, Boggs splashed a triple of his own. Flyers built a 14 point lead that, if they could protect, would book them a place into the semi-finals.
The veteran Eagles team recognised the danger and scored on multiple possessions, to bring the game within eight points.
Flyers countered, as Davis found Edozie for an alley-oop slam dunk and Smith banked it for the two inside. Bristol again baited Paige into another foul, resigning the Eagles' guard to the bench. The home team piled on the pressure and continued to attack, heading into the fourth quarter Flyers' led 58-43, just 10 minutes away from the BBL Play-off semi-finals.
Eagles made the mistake of giving Davis room to begin the fourth, as Bristol's point guard notched another triple. Newcastle came straight back with two quick scores to force Coach K to call a timeout. Streaming out of the time out, Boggs slashed into the lane for the lay-up.
Then on the following possession Flyers drew the charge on Paige, fouling out the BBL's leading scorer.
Bristol failed to take advantage, as they committed a 24 second shot clock violation. Then on the following possession they gave away three straight offensive rebounds and a score, which resulted in the home team's lead being cut to 11.
In the final two minutes, Flyers led by 12 points (an aggregate lead of 1 point) and had every chance to advance to the BBL Semi-Finals.
Boggs wriggled free and sank the two-point jumper, then Smith sealed his man inside for the lay-up. In the clutch, Davis was isolated at the middle of the court and let a three-pointer fly from almost half court. Nothing. But. Net.
Eagles drew up a quick alley-oop score, putting the pressure back on the home team. Davis was fouled and split his free throws, but Nimley shot an ill-advised three and threw up an air ball. Flyers were sent to the line to close the game out.
The SGS College Arena on their feet, applauding Flyers' players, as they sealed the victory from the foul line and knocked out the heavily favoured Newcastle Eagles. Bristol Flyers 77-60 Newcastle Eagles.
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Images courtesy of JMPUK.