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Report: Bristol Flyers 98-103 Plymouth Raiders (OT)

After leading the game by as many as 21 points, Bristol Flyers’ winning streak came to an abrupt end, losing to the visiting Plymouth Raiders in overtime 98-103.

Despite Leslee Smith and Aaron Cosby coming up strong in the clutch with 18 points and 20 points respectively, Flyers lost at home for the first time in 2017.

What Happened:

The South West rivalry continued at the WISE Arena and as the ball went up, both teams came out looking to take control of the contest.

The game opened up at a fiery pace with a hot opening that saw Flyers and Raiders shoot over 50% for the quarter. Donte Nicholas opened the scoring for the visitors.

On his way to eight first-quarter points on 75% shooting, Nicholas sealed his man in the post and converted on a finger-roll. Flyers charged back with a Greg Streete inside score and a Mike Vigor windmill lay-up.

As the contest wore on neither squad wanted to fall behind, but in the closing moments of the first, Brandon Boggs gave Flyers the lead. Slashing through the lane and exploding for the power dunk. Bristol led by two after the opening period 22-20.

Into the second and Flyers worked the ball around the perimeter to find Cosby, who fired from behind the arc for his first three-pointer of the game. The following possession was Cosby again, driving, spinning and scoring to give Flyers a seven-point advantage.

Bristol looked as though they had the momentum, but Raiders came storming back behind eight straight points from Daryl Corletto, two three-pointers and a jumper inside. The Plymouth run was capped off by a fast break two-handed dunk from Cory Dixon.

Though Bristol protected their advantage by scoring inside buckets, with Hameed Ali, Cosby and Daniel Edozie respectively. As the half set to finish, Bristol found Cosby who challenged Raiders' defence and hit a baby hook-shot at the buzzer.

Plymouth cut into Flyers' 11-point cushion, Cory Dixon scoring early up close in the paint and Corletto again connecting from down town for the triple.

Raiders were closing the gap but Flyers would not relinquish their lead, as Vigor converted both free-throws sandwiched between an open three from Streete and a transition three-pointer from Ali.

The home team worked hard to protect their 19-point lead throughout the third. Plymouth kept chipping away, with debutant Nathan Schall aggressively dunking the ball to silence the home crowd.

Bristol looked to close the game out but Plymouth had other plans. Nicholas snapped the twine on a contested triple and Anton Grady on a put-back dunk that forced Coach K to call time.

Flyers could stop the clock, but they couldn't stop the Raiders' comeback. The visitors shut down the Bristol offence, turning away multiple shots and bursting out for fastbreak scores.

For the first time in the game Flyers struggled to score. Bristol began to unravel and Plymouth started to connect offensively. Going on a backbreaking 20-4 run, Raiders' caught Flyers and tied the game up at 80 apiece.

It looked as though Plymouth were poised to take the lead, until Leslee Smith came out of nowhere with an emphatic rejection at the rim and then the clutch And-1 at the offensive end.

Bristol almost had the game wrapped up but in another twist Corletto splashed back to back three-pointers tying the game at 88, forcing overtime.

After seeing their 19-point lead evaporate behind an unstoppable Raiders comeback, Flyers went into overtime looking to put the game away but couldn't put Plymouth away.

Fittingly it would be Nicholas rising up from the arc, sinking Flyers hearts with a three-pointer to give them a one possession lead.

Bristol failed to convert on the following possession. Nichols then scored both free throws to ice the game and cap one of the most incredible comebacks in the BBL this season.

Key Moment:

In the waning moments of the fourth quarter, Plymouth's comeback looked as if it had fallen short, down six points with only seconds remaining.

Corletto stepped up in the clutch and scored an incredible shot from downtown to cut the deficit to three points. He then came up with the steal on the Flyers inbound pass and converted again from behind the arc to force overtime.

Player of the Game:

Leslee Smith recorded 18 points and 12 rebounds.

 

 

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