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Report: Bristol Flyers 68-71 Surrey Scorchers

Bristol Flyers BBL season got off to a losing start at the SGS WISE Arena as Surrey Scorchers stole the win with a big fourth quarter comeback.

23 points from new signing Cardell McFarland was just not enough to overcome a haunting team shooting performance.

Fresh off a promising season last year, The Flyers were looking to make a strong start in the first BBL game of their 2015- 2016 campaign. The last time these two teams me, Bristol won in a come-from-behind victory 70-62, the first Flyers victory in five attempts against Surrey. 

Surrey started strong with high pressure trap defence, catching Bristol off guard, stopping the home team scoring on the first three possessions. It was one of the new signings, McFarland, whom kept Bristol in the game in the opening quarter scoring Flyers' first 5 points.

Flyers' veteran Greg Streete struggled early on, going 0-4 in the first. Bristol's shooting woes were the story of the first quarter, going 7 for 19. Despite the lacklustre shooting, Flyers found a way to come back, through their tenacious collective rebounding, pulling down 10 first quarter rebounds. The home team went into the second quarter trailing 16-18.

McFarland opened the scoring in the second quarter with a hesitation dribble straight to the cup. But the Surrey defence continued to give Bristol problems, picking up the Bristol backcourt seemingly closer to the half way line with each possession. Feeding on the Flyers' poor transition defence, The Scorchers' ate up 9 first half points from turnovers.  

Bristol closed the half shooting 12 for 42, fighting hard to stay in the game. Though McFarland continued to get to the foul line with 16 first half points, this was matched by Surrey's Andreas Schreiber. Schreiber scorched the Flyers for 13 at the half and Surrey led 31 -30.

The third quarter started much as the first half ended, Surrey's Elvisi Dusha walked through Bristol's defence for an open lay-up and followed that with a 3 pointer in McFarland's face. Bristol, again went three straight possessions without scoring, until Greg Streete started the charge and scored his first points of the game. Roy Owen quickly hit a 3 pointer, Daniel Edozie on a transition score and Mathias Seilund converted on an and-1.

The game had changed. The home crowd were electric and Bristol took control. Surrey's defensive intensity had not dropped, but the Flyers were hitting their shots and as the third quarter came to a close Bristol led 54 - 47.

The buzzer sounded for the fourth to begin, Bristol picked up where they left off. The crowd imploring them to add to their lead. Schreiber, who had been so instrumental in the Scorcher's first half lead, was held scoreless for most of the second half. The Flyers' ball movement became crisp, finding more and more open shots. Their defence grew more and more physical, at times too physical, as they put themselves in the penalty towards the end of the game.

As the fouls mounted, Surrey put together a run to get them within striking distance. The game entered it's final moments with both teams trading baskets. In the final minute, Surrey's Tayo Ogedenge tied the game with a clutch and-1. A costly turnover from The Flyers gifted Schreiber a break-away 3 point play. The crowd was deafening, but Schreiber was able to convert at the free through line and seal the game. The Scorcher's who were led by Ogendengbe with 19 points, scored a hard-fought victory 68-71.

RSG Player of the Game: Cardell McFarland

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