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Report: Plymouth Raiders 86-74 Bristol Flyers

A slow start cost Bristol Flyers an early exit from the BBL Trophy against Plymouth Raiders away from home.

Justin Gray led Flyers with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists, whilst Daniel Edozie had a ten point, ten rebound double-double.



Raiders built up an early 16-6 lead to trigger a time-out from Coach Kapoulas. Mike Vigor made his season debut with five minutes left to play in the first period. His characteristic hard-nosed defence helped to limit the damage but he was unable to bolster Flyers scoring.

Fellow substitute Lewis Champion had an impact at both ends of the court, drawing a charge and getting past the Raiders defence for a lay-up to close the quarter down 22-10.

Plymouth were able to extend their lead through the second quarter, continuing to limit Flyers’ scoring opportunities while making baskets of their own. Flyers went into the changing rooms down 41-25 at half-time.

Bristol made a strong start to the third quarter, finding Tevin Falzon for a lay-up, before an Edozie turnover allowed Devontavious Payne to break away for a two-handed slam.

Edozie remained tenacious next time down, this time grabbing a rebound and laying it back in through a foul from Zak Wells. Raiders were able to answer back with a three-pointer from Josh Wilcher, quickly followed by a fast break lay-up from Rashad Hassan.

Gray’s drive was cut off with a foul from Wells. He missed both of the foul shots and Raiders were once again able to get out and score in transition with a Payne triple forcing an early Flyers time out; Coach Kapoulas knowing that his team needed to find success at both ends in order to cut into the deficit.

Flyers were able to keep the pressure on out of the time-out with McCloud breaking through for transition buckets and Vigor making some key passes for scores from Edozie and Gray.

Plymouth continued to turn the ball over, allowing Flyers to cut into the deficit. McCloud led the way with multiple drives to the basket. Thomas made a pair of key plays, sinking a corner three then drawing an offensive foul in the post from Donte Nicholas to allow Marcus Delpeche to cut the lead to just ten points. Nicholas took charge of Raiders offense making successive scores to close out the quarter 68-54.

The teams opened the fourth trading baskets once again, but Nicholas was able to heat up again, punishing Thomas for going under a screen with a three and then driving to the basket for an easy score.

A huge three-pointer from deep behind the line from Gray cut the lead back to twelve points with just under three minutes remaining.

Thomas made a late steal and broke away for a two handed slam as the time ran down. The damage done by the slow start was ultimately too much to erase and Raiders closed out the win 86-74.