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Women's Report: Bristol Flyers 65-66 Anglia Ruskin University (OT)

Bristol Flyers Women faced Anglia Ruskin University for a place in the National Cup Final.

This was the second meeting between the teams this season, where ARU defeated the Flyers by 15 points at the WISE Arena, but this game would be a far closer and greater contested encounter than the one back in November.

ARU put the first points on the board, and through greater shot selection, inside play and height advantage over the Flyers, they led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second, Mai Zilbeti closed the gap for the Flyers and Becky Cantin gave them the lead, only for Madeline Homoly to take it back for ARU moments later. Cool under pressure, the Cambridge team went to the locker room with a 29-23 advantage.

Image credit - B.East Photography

The teams exchanged baskets at the start of the second half, but ARU’s three-point shooting gave them a bigger lead. Hannah Wallace tied the game from the field, then put the Flyers in front by four with 1:30 to go in the quarter. This would be part of a 19-point performance from Wallace in the game, second only to Zilbeti who had 21.

With the visitors unable to get another shot off, the Flyers went into the final period of play up 49-45. The game very much hung in the balance in the fourth, with ARU not so threatening after going cold from three-point territory.

Homoly was able to closed the gap to one for the visiting team, only for the Flyers to push it back out to five. The lead was cut down to three in the final minute, and with seconds left on the clock Noa Sanchez Marquez put up a three which hit nothing but net. Five more minutes would be needed to separate the sides.

There were seven lead changes in overtime, the last of which came from ARU’s top scorer Katrin Hulme – the last of her 16 points – and with the last shot attempts from the Flyers falling short, their campaign in the cup competition was over.

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