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Report: Bristol Flyers 76-81 Manchester Giants

A fourth quarter collapse saw Bristol Flyers fall to their second defeat of the weekend at home to Manchester Giants.

Bristol Flyers came into tonight’s game off the back of a heavy 74-48 loss to the Worcester Wolves in the first part of this weekends double header and were without Mathias Seilund following a shoulder injury picked up in last nights defeat.

Alif Bland got the Flyers off the mark a nice two-handed jam, but the visitors’ perimeter shooting was something to behold in the opening exchanges with the Giants opening up a 7 point lead.

The Flyers were guilty of missing several open looks with Doug McLaughlin-Williams and Greg Streete missing jumpers from beyond the arc.

Bland wouldn’t let his team go too far behind with more impressive work in the post, followed by a quick two on the break from Greg Streete, however, the Flyers skipper couldn’t add the extra point from the line.

With 2:30 left on the clock in the first, Streete added another three points, this time converting the ‘and one’ to give Flyers the lead for only the second time in the game.

Doug McLaughlin-Williams started the Flyers off in the second with a mid-range two, moments before a huge two-handed dunk from Alif Bland, increasing the Flyers lead to four.

The Giants shot 54% from beyond the arc in the first half, but Flyers duo Bree Perine and Doug McLaughlin-Williams responded with triples of their own to put Bristol up by seven with less than five minutes of the first half remaining.

Manchester continued to shoot well from long range to stay within touching distance, but couldn’t come up with an answer for Bland, who had 13 first half points to lead Bristol as the Flyers led 40-38 at the end of two.

The visitors would go on an 10-0 run to quickly build up an eight point lead, before Bree Perine rolled in an easy two as the Flyers looked to get back into the game.

Doug McLaughlin-Williams hit back-to-back threes to bring Flyers within one point, before a free throw from Tamas Okros made the game all square.

The Giants re-took the lead through a pair of free throws of their own before Flyers’ guard Bree Perine hit an open jumper to tie the game heading into the final quarter.

Manchester continued to press and opened up a commanding seven point lead with Stefan Gill draining a long-range three.

Dwayne Lauter-Ogunleye was fouled on a three and went to the line to shoot a trio of free throws but unfortunately missed all three.

Seconds later the Giants extended their lead to nine, prompting Coach K to call a time-out to try and stop the Giants’ run.

Bree Perine rolled in another two to reduce the deficit to 11 but it seemed too little too late in a quarter where the Giants really asserted themselves, running the clock down with every possession. Doug McLaughlin-Williams hit another pair of back-to-back threes on an impressive night for him to reduce the gap to five but Flyers would run out of time, falling short 76-81.

Greg Streete and Doug McLaughlin-Williams would finish the game with a joint team-high 20 points, whilst Bree Perine would end with 16 points to go along with 5 assists.

Flyers next host Surrey United on Friday, February 13th in what will be another crucial battle for an all-important play-off position come the end of the season.

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