Preview: Bristol Flyers v London Lions
Posted: Saturday, April 16th 2016
Saturday, April 16th 2016
In front of a raucous crowd at the SGS WISE Arena, Flyers final home game of the season ended with a loss to the London Lions 65-78.
Mathias Seilund led the way with 16 points and three rebounds.
Flyers entered the game having not made the play-offs for the first time in twelve seasons, wanting to send their loyal fans home with a season finale win.
However, Lions had not read the script and began the game looking like a team gearing up for a long play-off run. The visitors forced a quick time out, as they began the game scoring 12 unanswered points early in the first quarter.
Tyrone Lee came out to open the scoring for Flyers with a smart move inside for the bucket. Greg Streete fought is way thrice to the free throw line, sinking each free throw.
Flyers' spurt of offence was silenced with a flurry of Lions baskets, shooting 62% from the field for the quarter. London lead by as many as 22 points. Bristol limped into the second quarter trailing 4-26.
Lions scored a quick five points in the opening moments of the second, a corner three-pointer from Jospeh Ikhinmwin and a tip in from Zachariah Gachette. The lead ballooned to 27, until Seilund stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer of his own.
The home crowd were so passionate that were ready to explode on every score, but on this occasion there was little to cheer for, as Flyers shot 34% from the field for the half.
Bristol started to string a few field goals together, closing the gap slightly, but ultimately Lions kept the pressure on. Emphatically posterising the Bristol defence with a huge one handed slam dunk, heading into half time with the score 23-53.
Flyers opened the second half looking for a change in momentum, putting a conscious effort to free up their outside shooters. And it worked. Bristol scored five three-pointers , slashing the deficit.
The home team also forced the issue on defence, active hands drawing deflections and disrupting the Lions attack. Suddenly London could not score, a drought that lasted as many as four minutes, which only came to an end with Kai Williams sinking a tough contested jumper at the top of the key. Lions built on this, calmly maintaining their sizeable lead. Though Flyers spirited 18-10 run begged the question; was there one last twist in Bristol's season?
Flyers entered their final quarter of the season, down double digits. But Bristol held strong, their first defensive possession of the fourth, forced the visitors into a 24-second shot clock violation. Flyers' offence was ignited by a ten point barrage by Tom Tinsley; two corner three-pointers and two inside jump shots.
Five minutes remained with Flyers they trailing by 13 points. Flyers' continued to rally, matching Lions basket for basket, forcing a 24-second violation, with Daniel Edozie scrambling for a block on the following possession.
The home teams' comeback ran out of steam and Flyers could just not cut the gap to single digits. Lions began spreading the ball around the perimeter on every attack, in an effort to milk the clock. Flyers battled from behind all game and their comeback was just not enough. Bristol's 2015-2016 home season ended with a loss, the final score 65 - 78.
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