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Report: Flyers 78-82 USA Select

Bristol Flyers lost in overtime after a thrilling finale to their pre-season game with USA Select at the SGS WISE Arena.

The USA select team returned for their annual UK tour as Flyers hosted their first game since the quarter-final play-off loss against Newcastle Eagles. The last time these two sides met Flyers won 79 - 65. 

As both squads lined up there were some notable omissions, Bristol were without their American shooter Doug McLaughlin Williams, although there was a first chance for fans to see news signings Cardell McFarland and Daniel Edozie in action.

The game began with some intense defensive play from both sides, the highlight being an early chase down block by Flyers captain Greg Streete. A slow start saw the Flyers chasing early on before they closed the first quarter with back to back 3 pointers to bring them within 1 point, 19 - 20 to USA Select.

Flyers were slow on defense in the second quarter as USA got two straight open shots on as many possessions taking the lead at the half 34-29. Flyers finished the half with Streete and Mathias Seilund leading the way with 7 points apiece at the half. This was matched by USA’s Darius Cox who led the way in the first half with 13.

The second half began with the Flyers looking rejuvenated on defense, closing in on shots and high ball pressure. Flyers new signings combined for a ten point run to put them in the lead in the third. Mcfarland slashed into the lane and converted an And 1, a deep three pointer and another drive to the hoop. Edozie capped off the comeback with two made free throws, with Flyers finishes the quarter in front by 1, 53-52.

Both teams traded baskets at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the partisan SGS WISE crowd lifting the the Flyers, Edozie converting on an And 1 and later an emphatic dunk. As the clock ticked down in fourth quarter the USA squad gave Bristol problems with their athleticism, putting the Flyers in further foul trouble.

After a close fourth quarter, USA Select led by two with two seconds remaining, Flyers had other ideas however. USA turned the ball over and McFarland converted on the buzzer from Streete’s long pass, cue bedlam at the SGS WISE Arena. After a pause for discussion by the officials, the basket was declared good. Overtime.

Bristol had taken it to overtime but could not put the USA team away. In the final moments, USA big man Austin Steed Jr was fouled and went to the line with 30 seconds left to put the game to bed, 78-82.

There were notable performances across the board from Flyers with Streete, Seilund and Edozie all posting double-doubles and McFarland leading the scoring with 27 points.

Promising signs before Flyers begin their BBL campaign at home to Surrey Scorchers on Saturday, September 19thclick here to buy tickets.

RSG Player of the Game - Cardell McFarland

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