Preview » Plymouth Raiders v Bristol Flyers
Posted: Friday, December 8th 2017
Sunday, December 10th 2017
Bristol Flyers suffered defeat on the road to South-West rivals Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Trophy, 84-80.
A game of fine margins was ultimately settled by the team with the higher free throw percentage (Raiders' 85% to Flyers' 57%).
Neil Watson scored a game-high 22 for Raiders whilst Flyers were led by an 18-point performance by Adam Weary.
Flyers won the tip-off with Mike Vigor nailing the three as the shot clock counted down on the first possession of the game.
Bristol gained some early momentum with Raiders struggling to contain the away side, Jordan Davis getting Flyers' second three of the game, Coach K's men up 6-10.
Raiders were struggling on the offence, shooting just 25% in the opening five minutes.
Adam Weary then drove to the basket for And-1 but failed to make the free throw. Flyers free throw percentage was poor in the first quarter, shooting just 1/5 from the line - had they converted some of those missed opportunities they could have had a commanding lead heading into the second.
As it was, Raiders slowly closed the gap, the quarter ending all tied up as the teams traded threes in the final minute, 18-18.
It was close again in the second, Flyers being led by captain and former Raiders star Mike Vigor, on 11 points and five rebounds midway through the quarter.
Flyers began to slowly edge away from the home side, making the most of some sloppy turnovers to get themselves into a five-point lead at the half, 34-39
Raiders started the second half hot with back-to-back threes from Louis Sayers before an And-1 from Neil Watson saw Raiders take the lead for the first time in the game, 43-42.
The home side were now playing defence with a much higher intensity, giving Flyers less looks at the basket to keep the game neck and neck.
Watson began to take control, a three point jump shot and free throw, before a Kinu Rochford tip-in handed Raiders an eight-point lead.
Flyers were sparked back into life with a big dunk from Boggs followed by an easy two-point jump shot to get Bristol back into it.
Plymouth opened the final quarter stronger, adding to their lead with baskets from Jared Adekoya and Rochford, whilst Flyers' struggles from the free throw line continued.
Davis made his second three of the game, but that man Watson replied immediately with one of his own. Weary got Flyers back in the game, converting the And-1 to bring Coach K's men to within two of the hosts.
Raiders then put together a 5-0 run to get themselves into a seven point lead with two left on the clock.
A Sayers And-1 saw Flyers needing to claw back ten points in the final minute to get the away win and progress in the Trophy.
Plymouth gave Bristol hope with a sloppy turnover, Vigor getting the foul and both free throws to cut the lead to five points.
Vigor then sunk a three as Flyers edged closer, Davis then scored a clutch three to bring the away side with two. Raiders however made both free throws on the next possession to close out the game, 84-80.
Bristol Flyers v Newcastle Eagles
Saturday, January 6th, 7.30pm.
Photos © Damian Pudner Photography (www.pudner.co.uk)