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Report: Surrey Scorchers 71-79 Bristol Flyers

Bristol Flyers earn their place in the 2017 BBL play-offs by beating the Surrey Scorchers 71-79 in the season finale. 

Led by Hameed Ali with 19 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds, Flyers finish with a record of 16-17 and ready themselves for a play-off quarter-final with Newcastle Eagles. 


What Happened?

Flyers entered into the final game of the season with their play-off destiny in their own hands. Standing in the way of the precious play-off berth was the Surrey Scorchers and their hostile home crowd.

Though a Flyers loss would not automatically deny them the play-off spot, Bristol wanted to avoid relying on other league results to qualify for the post season.

Tip-off and Flyers established themselves in the game early with Ali finding Leslee Smith who converted on an And-1. Scorchers responded as Mike Ochereobia worked inside for the lay-up, followed by a three-pointer from Gabriel McCray on his way to ten first quarter points.

Throughout the opening period both teams looked to take control of the game, but neither side could secure an early lead. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back there seemed to be no sign of fatigue, as the contest was played at a rapid pace.

Flyers took the lead late in the first, as Ali who shot 50% from the field in the opening period, scored his patent transition three-pointer. But this was short lived, as McCray scored again from three point land.

Greg Streete tied it up by slashing into the lane, taking the contact and converting the And-1. Brandon Boggs added to the Flyers' cause by freezing the defence on a pump fake, driving into the paint and dunking it hard over Chaz Rollins.

Bristol pulled away as the first came to a close, Flyers leading 23-19.

Scorchers closed the gap within the first minute of the second as they took advantage of Flyers' turnovers, who coughed the ball up 12 times in the first-half.

Then Boggs grabbed the rebound from a Surrey miss and went coast-to-coast for the lay-up. Boggs lifted his play even higher, as he was fouled in the act of shooting but still scored and sunk the additional free-throw.

Surrey began to struggle offensively as they only shot 32% from the field for the half. Despite their shooting woes, they were still in the game thanks to 16 bench points.

Scorchers never trailed more than five points in the first two quarters. Every time the visitors looked to build a lead, Scorchers responded.

Surrey's Quincy Taylor scored a quick four points on a beautiful reverse lay-up and another inside bucket.

As the half drew to a close, Boggs freed himself again for another slam dunk to tie the game 36 apiece.

Bristol began the second half by clamping down defensively and forcing Surrey into a 24-second shot clock violation. On the following possession Flyers stole the ball from the home team. Ali then deflected the ball stopping the Surrey fastbreak opportunity.

Tayo Ogedengbe ended the attacking drought with a three-point bomb but this was matched by a three-pointer from Smith. Bristol continued their defensive intensity and for a stretch Surrey could not put the ball in the basket.

Flyers capitalised on this on took a slender lead after contributions from Streete and Mike Vigor. Though the lead all but disappeared as the home team started to convert from field.

In a stunning finish to the third, Vigor galloped up court on the break and threw the ball up only to see his attempt rejected by Taylor.

Ten minutes remaining in the regular season and Bristol held a two point advantage leading 52-50. Smith doubled the lead by scoring on his first touch of the ball in the final period.

Aaron Cosby provided Flyers a seven point cushion, their biggest lead of the game. Cosby challenged the defence on a driving lay-up and then scored on a transition three-pointer.

Though as Scorchers had done all game, they refused to allow Flyers to run away with the game. Surrey put together a late fourth quarter push, with Rollins and McCray hitting a jumpshot each to bring the game back within a single possession.

Both teams traded baskets as Cosby curled off a screen and delivered a three of his own, which was countered with McCray's And-1.

With both teams executing in the clutch, it was clear that the contest would come to its final moments.

One point separated the squads and when it matter most Ali came up big. Down the stretch Ali scored on an And-1 giving visitors a four point lead. Bristol closed the game out from the foul line, earning a hard fought away victory 71-79 to secure their place in the post season at the expense of South-West rivals Plymouth Raiders.


Play Of The Game



RSG Player Of The Game: Hameed Ali


Social Media Post Of The Night


Game Leaders

Points: Hameed Ali - 19
Assists: Hameed Ali - 10
Rebounds: Daniel Edozie - 11

Box Score: http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/BBL/307389/bs.html

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