Report: Leicester Riders 54-80 Bristol Flyers
Tuesday, March 30th 2021
Bristol Flyers put together their best defensive performance of the season to earn a dominant 54-80 win against Leicester Riders.
The result marked a landmark first win at the Morningside Arena, with Eric Lockett leading the way on 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
After falling to Riders on Saturday, the Flyers came out with a point to prove. Lockett sliced through the lane for back to back baskets, before Mustapha Heron opened the scoring for the home side. Teddy Okereafor got his teammates involved, finding Marcus Delpeche for a lay-up before Ben Mockford splashed a three-pointer. Mockford turned distributor, throwing a precision bounce pass to Lockett for a one-handed dunk.
A Daniel Edozie lay-up gave Coach Paternostro cause to pause the game and regroup. Riders responded with 7-0 run led by floor general Conner Washington to make it 16-18 after one quarter.
Josh Rogers was huge in the second period; getting it done at both ends with a trio of three pointers and a blocked shot. Bristol used their defensive stops to fuel their offence with Delpeche making a steal and getting in great position for a dunk. Riders responded again, forcing turnovers to seize back the momentum and tie it up at 33 heading into half-time.
Leicester kept their intensity to start the second half, forcing another turnover on Flyers inbound play and capitalising with a lay-up for Washington. Another score from Heron caused Coach Kapoulas to talk it over with the team.
Flyers battled back with renewed aggression around the basket, netting second chance points and getting to the foul line. A sequence of successive stops gave Bristol the foundation for a run. Baker swatted a lay-up attempt and Mockford converted a high flying drive to the basket. Steals from Edozie and Okereafor led to a pair of threes for Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and Bristol were back in control at 47-52 heading into the final quarter.
Another three from Thomas-Edwards kept the lead growing. The defensive clamps stayed tight in the fourth, and transition scoring flowed with Thomas-Edwards and Okereafor laying it home on the break. Baker completed a 15-0 run for his team through contact and made his free throw count.
With time against them, Riders struggled to get anything going offensively. Lockett maintained his relentless assault on the rim, slamming a pair of alley-oops from Baker to finish out the game at 54-80.