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Report: Bristol Flyers 85-77 Leeds Force

Bristol Flyers kept their play-off hopes alive with an important win beating Leeds Force 85-77. 

Led by Hameed Ali with 23 points and 10 assists, Flyers move ever closer to the final play-off spot and a chance at a post season run.

What Happened?

Force opened the scoring with a neat pick and roll finding Robert Marsden, on his way to ten first quarter points, for the open two-pointer.

Mike Vigor answered back by converting two free-throws to tie the score. Vigor was found again but failed to cash in with a lay-up at point blank range.

Force looked to take advantage on the following possession but Flyers locked down defensively, causing a 24-second shot clock violation. Bristol then found Brandon Boggs on a breakaway slam dunk to energise the home crowd early on.

Flyers' offence was clicking as all five starters scored in the first quarter, though Force were more efficient on the offensive end, shooting 52% in a tightly contested opening period. After one the score was tied at 22 a piece.

Hameed Ali dribbles up court in the first-half

As the second quarter began Bristol tried to create some breathing room between the teams. Boggs stole the ball and found Ali in transition, who hit nothing but net from behind the arc for the three-pointer.

Then, after preventing Leeds from scoring, Flyers patiently moved the ball quickly to stretch the visitors defence. The ball worked its way to Vigor, who had been hot from the field with 13 first half points, for a short lay-up. Force called for time.

Leeds could stop the clock but they couldn't stop Bristol's surge as Vigor scored again, this time from three point land. Ali came up with the steal and a quick two pointer inside. This was followed by Aaron Cosby going coast to coast to convert on an And-1 finger-roll, giving Flyers a double-digit lead.

Bristol turned the ball over twice in as many possessions and Leeds took advantage scoring each time and closing the gap. Force's Jermaine Sanders drove inside and dumped the ball to an open Clayfell Harris for the score, bringing the visitors within two points.

With Leeds looking to take the lead, Cosby snatched the ball out of the air and again went the whole length of the court for the fastbreak lay-up.

Ali added to Flyers' cause by hitting a transition triple with the defence all over him. Force then charged the ball into the Bristol's key and Marsden completed an And-1. Cosby missed at the hoop as he looked to score in the dying moments of the half but Daniel Edozie followed the miss with a putback dunk at the buzzer. Flyers 47 Leeds 41 at the break.

After an offensively charged first half, Flyers looked to continue their attacking success by posting up Leslee Smith to open the second half scoring. Smith followed this up by playing the passing lanes, coming up with the steal to deny Leeds the shooting opportunity. For a stretch both squads failed to score, the deadlock was broken by Smith following up a miss with a putback dunk.


Flyers captain Greg Streete makes the pass

Bristol's double digit cushion was protected as they took care of the ball, boasting a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio. Force put together a late third quarter run behind Sanders, who scored seven straight points. Ali responded by hitting a two-pointer buzzer beater to give Flyers a five point advantage heading into the final period.

Leeds opened the fourth on fire tying the game up at 66 apiece, but Bristol would respond. Smith showed the full repertoire by shooting the mid range jumpshot and following it up with a driving lay-up. Vigor then cut hard to the basket for a lay-up of his own to top a Flyers run of six unanswered points.

Despite Bristol's scoring flurry, Force hung around keeping the game close. With a chance to close the gap further, Marsden drove the ball to the hoop but Edozie turned him away with an emphatic block.

Inspired by the big man's rejection, Flyers worked hard on defence to secure another 24 second shot clock violation.

The fourth remained tense as even though Flyers had the lead, they faced a resilient Force attack. In the final two minutes, Flyers were finally able to string together enough field goals to build a lead. Leeds tried to draw the game out with intentional fouls but Bristol converted the clutch free-throws to put the game out of reach and in the process close the gap on the much sought after final play-off place. Flyers 85 Force 77.

Play Of The Game

Photo Of The Night

RSG Player Of The Game: Hameed Ali

Social Media Post Of The Night

Game Leaders

Points: Jermaine Sanders - 24
Assists: Hameed Ali - 10
Rebounds: Jermain Sanders - 10

Box Score: