Bristol Flyers 87 Leeds Force 77: Force falter after taking giant strides towards play-offs

Top shot, Jermaine Sanders.
Top shot, Jermaine Sanders.
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twenty-four hours after beating the Manchester Giants on Friday night, Leeds Force fell to an 87-77 defeat at the hands of the Bristol Flyers at the WISE Basketball Arena on Sunday, writes ARIF AHMED.

Both teams had hopes to make the play-offs so both teams were determined to dominate the floor and take the points.

Hot shot, Rob Marsden.

Hot shot, Rob Marsden.

They cancelled each other out in the opening quarter as neither side could pull away and take the lead.

It was a very even affair early as neither side could hold on to a lead.

As soon as one did the other levelled it up again.

Rob Marsden’s quarter-high 10 points helped the Force to score 22 points in the period but the Flyers equalled the total as both sides couldn’t be separated in the 1st.

The second quarter was a more open affair as Bristol went on an 8-0 run which opened up an 22-point lead for the hosts. Leeds brought it down to a four-point game as Marsden put away a three-point play with four seconds left in the half.

In the final second of the half Daniel Edozie slammed in Aaron Crosby’s missed free throw to give the Flyers a six point lead at the break.

Bristol flew out the traps in the third quarter with an 8-2 run which gave them a 12-point lead in the game but Leeds responded deep in the period with a 10-0 run which brought the gap down to four.

Jermaine Sanders was the architect of that run, scoring six of the points for Leeds, one of the baskets thanks to a scoop pass from Marsden which stopped the ball going out of play.

The Force levelled the game at 66-66 early in the fourth quarter thanks to baskets from American duo Jack Isenbarger and Sanders.

Bristol then flexed their muscles in the final quarter as they retook the lead and this time they held on to win by seven points.

Sanders was the game’s top scorer with 24 points, he also added 10 rebounds to record a double double and eight assists.