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Report: Plymouth Raiders 65-78 Bristol Flyers

Bristol Flyers showed grit and intensity in a much-improved performance to seize their first win of the BBL cup campaign.

Eric Lockett led all scorers with an efficient 25 points and adding five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

BOX SCORE


WHAT HAPPENED

New addition Teddy Okereafor showed his quality immediately. The Great Britain international ran the pick and roll with Raphell Thomas-Edwards and Okereafor threw him a perfect pass for the score. Next time down the floor Okereafor sank a high-arcing shot in the lane. Raiders opened their account with a layup from Will Neighbour, before Flyers extended their lead with outside shooting from Zach Copeland finishing the first quarter ahead 14-21.

An offensive dry spell for Bristol sapped their momentum. Raiders found success from beyond the arc with Elvisi Dusha and Elliott Sentance connecting. A triple from Josh Rogers ended the drought for the visitors.

Sentance gave Raiders a spark from the bench, hitting a further pair of threes and finding his way to the basket for a lay-up. Lockett was effective in generating easy scores from turnovers. Liam Davis was Flyers own substitute scorer, getting to the basket for a lay-up and then being rewarded for sprinting the floor with a long pass from Okereafor. Copeland was able to draw a foul on a three-point attempt and put Flyers ahead 31-34 at half-time.

Raiders made a run midway through the third quarter with scoring from their own GB international, Ashley Hamilton. Hamilton sank a three-pointer and then snuck behind the Flyers defence for a dunk. A three-pointer from Denzel Ubiario pushed Plymouth back into the lead and Coach Kapoulas called timeout.

Flyers responded well, tightening up the defence and ensuring there were no more three point opportunities. A 9-0 run from Bristol undid the damage. Davis troubled the defence and drew multiple fouls. Lockett scored in transition and Copeland splashed another three pointer. Flyers finished the third period strong with a three pointer from Davis from an assist by Copeland. Flyers new back court pairing of Copeland and Okereafor finished the game with seven and six assists respectively.

Flyers kept their run going after the break, with Lockett completing a three point play at the free throw line. Excellent team defence from Flyers forced a 24 second turnover. Panos Mayindombe hit a tough runner from outside the arc late in the shot clock for Bristol at the other end.

The physicality and scrappiness of the game began to take a toll on both teams with hard fouls coming from both sides. Thomas-Edwards fouled out early in the fourth period. The slower pace played to Flyers strengths and they were able to force turnovers. Coach Paul James took a timeout with the lead in double figures.

Another defensive stop came for Flyers, forcing a second shot clock violation. Davis spotted up for another three-pointer, completing his 15 points off the bench. Flyers extended the lead to 18 points with a combination of free throw shooting and transition offence. Coach James was forced to take another timeout but the clock was now in favour of the Flyers.

Raiders stemmed the bleeding enough to prevent Flyers claiming the head to head in the cup ties. Lockett signed off the victory with a final three pointer, but an answer from Ubiario made it 65-78.