GAME REPORT: Bristol pushed to OT but poor third ultimately costs Rocks

Bristol Flyers 91 – 84 Glasgow Rocks (after overtime)

Report by Alan Caldwell

Glasgow battle in overtime thriller against the Flyers down at Bristol, but it’s not enough as a strong second half and OT from the Flyers see them out winners.

Coming off a tough loss last night against the Wolves, Glasgow where looking to end their weekend road-trip with a win in Bristol against the Flyers, however it wasn’t meant to be as a big overtime performance from Bristol seen them get the home win.

The Rocks started off the game in great tempo with Delph winning the tip off and then just seconds later grabbing an offensive rebound for Keeling to then hit a jumper and give the Rocks their first points in the ball game.

Despite the fast start by the Rocks, Bristol had a reply to each of their early baskets as both teams went back and forth early on in the first quarter.

With both teams getting off to a quick start scoring wise, it was tied 13 all mid-way through the first quarter with the Rocks new signings Christian Keeling and Ronald Delph continuing to look impressive in their first year with the team, it was Keeling with an early seven points and Delph adding four to help Glasgow get off to a good start in the contest.

With the first quarter coming to a close the scoring started to slow down for both teams as the shots could just not fall in for Glasgow, the Flyers went on a 9-0 run to give them an early lead and the biggest one of the game so far but it was shortly cut down by a driving lay up and quick turn around jumper by Gareth Murray to give him a quick four points as he was determined not to let the Bristol lead get too big, the first quarter ended with the Flyers up 25-21.

At the start of the second quarter all the momentum was looking with the home team as they started off the first minute of the quarter with two quick baskets, however a great hustle play from Fraser Malcom saw him grab an offensive rebound off his own miss and make the layup whilst getting an and-one opportunity which he converted from the free throw line.

The hustle play from Fraser seemed to give Glasgow more belief and energy at the start of the second quarter as they started to push the ball and score in transition with the Flyers unable to keep up with the pace, the Rocks went on a 15-2 run and took the lead on the night 35-31 as Keeling (15pts) and Delph (7pts, 7rebs) continued to be the bright sparks for Glasgow.

Part of Glasgow’s run in the second quarter was thanks to their bench scoring as Jacdonmi came into the game and got a quick six points in just three minutes of play along with three points added on by Malcolm and four by Brandon, as the Glasgow Bench outscored the Flyers by seven in the first half.

Going into the interval Bristol managed to keep the game close and cut Glasgow’s five point lead and take a lead of their own with a minute left to go in the half, but another Keeling jump shot switched that lead straight back round again in a back and forth encounter which saw the Rocks lead the game 43-42 at halftime, thanks to a game high 17 points from Keeling who lead all scorers at the half.

Going into the final two quarters everything was still left to play for with it continuing to be a close encounter looking like it was going right down to the wire. The start of the third quarter unfortunately for the Rocks belonged to the Flyers as the shots weren’t dropping for Glasgow, Bristol went on a 6-0 run to open up the quarter and regain a five point lead on the night.

Looking to fight back and regain the lead again, a wide open dunk and in and out dribble to finish with a lovely layup by Keeling added another four points to his total on the night as again the lead is once again cut down to just one in the game.

The third quarter continued to be close until the Flyers went on a 9-0 run with three minutes left in the quarter which saw them hit 3 three pointers in a row and open up their joint biggest lead on the night again with 10. The third quarter ended with the Flyers up 63-52 in the game as they outscored the Rocks 21-9 in the third as Glasgow struggled to get going offensively.

Determined to cut into the Bristol lead once again Glasgow would continue to battle in the fourth quarter with the game still in sight if they can execute correctly, it was Isa Brandon who got the scoring started with a driving layup as they now just had to put a few stops together on the defensive end to keep the game close.

It was Jacdonmi who done just this as he finished off the pick and roll with Keeling then hustled back for the block on the other end which lead to a wide open Keeling layup to cut into the Flyers lead which was now just seven with just over half of the fourth quarter left to go.

With the game hanging in the balance it was real grit and determination from the Rocks as Jacdonmi gets the lay up to go followed by another block which lead to a three point opportunity for Keeling which he takes to cut the Bristol lead down to just four points.

With two minutes left in the fourth quarter it was Gareth Murray with two clutch threes in a row to put the Rocks up by one point on the night with 0:29 seconds left in the game. Despite this the Flyers manage to inbound the ball and make a layup tying the game up 75 apiece coming down to the last possession. With the clock going down Keeling was unable to get the layup and jump shot to go right at the end of the game as this one went into overtime.

The Rocks started overtime in great fashion as Delph and Murray drained three pointers but it wasn’t without reply from the Flyers as Glasgow had an early 2 point lead at the start of overtime.

Both teams going toe to toe in the final two minutes of overtime it was Flyers who were able to execute down the stretch and win this nail biter 91-84.

Stand out players for the Rocks were Christian Keeling who finished with a game high 28 points, Gareth Murray with 15 and Delph who finished with another double double, as the Rocks now get ready to go home and prepare for Friday nights game against the Manchester Giants at the Emirates Arena.

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