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Report: Bristol Flyers 71-84 Newcastle Eagles

Bristol Flyers couldn't make it back-to-back wins in the BBL as Newcastle Eagles scored the win at the SGS WISE Arena.

Led by Andy Thomson's team-high 19 points, Newcastle handed Bristol their fifth BBL loss this season.

Coming in after a midweek away win, Bristol were looking to get their first home win of the season against the reigning BBL champions. Coach K had the luxury of a full strength roster to pick from, intending to hand the Eagles their first loss of the season.

Flyers started aggressively, getting the crowd off their feet with back-to-back scores from new signing Tyrone Lee. The first an isolation floater, followed by a fast break one-handed slam dunk. Lee remained the focus of the quarter, scoring eight of the Flyers first quarter haul of 25 points.

Lee was getting to the basket at will, forcing the North East side to look double team him early on. As the Flyers found success slashing to the hole, the Eagles struggled from the outside, shooting just 20% from three. Despite the shooting performance, Eagles took a ten point lead heading into the second quarter, up 25-15.

The Eagles' outside touch abandoned them at the beginning of the second, turning instead to their defence and transition game, bagging 14 from Flyers' turnovers. Flyers responded with an eagerness to block shots in transition, giving away needless fouls in the process. Eagles went to the foul line on multiple possessions and shot particularly well, with an impressive 94% for the half. As the half came to a close, Flyers trailed 36-50.

Eagles’ second-half tactics were evident from the get-go, Lee receiving the ball for Flyers in the mid-post before the Newcastle defence collapsed on him, forcing a break in play. The extra defensive attention did not phase the American, as he came back for a monster two-handed dunk only minutes later.

Continued heroics from Lee were not enough to mount a comeback, Newcastle’s potent offence proving too much for Flyers to handle. Frustration set in, culminating in Coach Kapoulas receiving a technical foul, allowing the Eagles to return to the free throw line. Another converted And-1 from Newcastle and the lead ballooned to 21, Newcastle leading 76-55 as the game entered the fourth quarter.

The Eagles opened the final quarter by choking the Flyers attack, the first Bristol spell of possession ending with a 24 second violation. The Eagles’ suffocating defence, suppressed the struggling Flyers offence - Flyers going four straight possessions without a score in open play. Flyers got within 15, but the comeback was short-lived, Eagles sealed game with back-to-back scores by Horta-Darrington to claim the win 71-84. 

RSG Player of the Game: Tyrone Lee

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