Report: Worcester Wolves 66-73 Bristol Flyers
Wednesday, December 2nd 2020
Bristol Flyers booked their place in the BBL Cup Quarter-Final with a road victory over the Worcester Wolves.
Zach Copeland led the way with a team-high 17 points, whilst Daniel Edozie had an excellent all-round game netting nine points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Teddy Okereafor brought home momentum from the international break to get Flyers going early, deflecting a pass and chasing down the loose ball for a fast break score. Copeland splashed a triple, before Jordan Williams answered with a lay-up. Matthew Bryan-Amaning showed impressive range of his own and then familiar touch in the low post to stem the bleeding. Okereafor turned distributor late in the quarter finding Edozie for a fadeaway then linking up with Marcus Delpeche as he entered from the bench. Flyers finished the first quarter ahead 15-25.
A slow start followed with Delpeche finally breaking the drought with more points in the paint. Liam Davis joined in the bench production, making a lay-up from a feed from Okereafor. Edozie re-entered the game and got straight back to work, scoring in traffic off another Okereafor dime. Worcester picked up their defence and were able to bite into the lead forcing a Flyers timeout. Bryan-Amaning was forced to the bench with three fouls and Wolves cut the lead back to 10 with a pair of three-pointers late in the quarter orchestrated by their Captain Maarten Bouwknecht. The run made it 28-38 at the half.
The hot shooting continued after the break for the home side, with Bouwknecht and Micah Elan making three-pointers. Edozie elevated to seize a rebound and slam it home with two hands. Delpeche followed with a one-handed dunk of his own off a well executed pick and roll with Lockett. Delpeche kept up his assault on the rim with another forceful dunk. The athletic big man finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three steals. Rattled, Wolves turned the ball over with a shot clock violation and Coach Matt Newby called timeout. Another turnover put Flyers in transition and Davis drew an unsportsmanlike foul. Lockett punctuated a strong quarter for the visitors with a high-arcing shot in the lane to make it 40-55.
Davis spotted up for a three-pointer after the quarter break, giving Flyers their largest lead of the game and completing his 11 point, five rebound night. Wolves again battled back behind outside shooting from Elan and Bouwknecht. Copeland drove to the basket and soared past the Wolves for a lay-up. Worcester found a formula for success in feeding their bigs the ball on the low block. With Bryan-Amaning and Williams trading scores, a much needed three-pointer from Copeland restored a double digit lead.
Knowing that they could afford to lose by five or less to qualify, Wolves dug in for one final run with Bouwknecht, Williams and Bryan-Amaning leading the way. Flyers found baskets harder to come by, but were effective at getting into the paint with Edozie laying it in. A huge three-pointer from Micah Elan made it a four point game. Flyers showed composure in the face of the comeback and Thomas-Edwards was able to break down the defence and dish the ball to Delpeche for another big dunk to restore the all important six point lead.
With seconds remaining Bouwknecht forced his way to the foul line. He put the margin back in Wolves’ favour at five points with his first shot but missed the second. Delpeche hauled in the rebound and found Copeland. A foul halted the play and Flyers went back to the hot handed Copeland. He found himself under pressure on the perimeter but a well timed cut from Lockett gave him a great passing option. Lockett kissed his shot off the window to give Flyers the win and the all important edge in the head to head margin.
Flyers will have to wait until Monday night to find out their quarter-final opponent. They will travel to either Leicester Riders or Newcastle Eagles, but the tie depends on the result of Riders’ last cup group match against Sheffield on December 7th.