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Smith nets 14 as Bristol Flyers beat Sheffield Sharks - Mar 6, 2017


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Leslee Smith
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Behind a 14-point performance by Virgin Islander Leslee Smith (203-F-90, college: Nebraska), the Bristol Flyers beat Sheffield, 82-69 on Saturday March 4, 2017 and strengthened their hold on a play-off berth.
The Sheffield Sharks started the game with Rashawn Rembert scoring a three-point field goal to open the scoring, followed by a quick dump inside for the easy lay-up. Looking to build a lead, Sheffield worked the ball in the paint but were stripped by Brandon Boggs who went coast-to-coast for the fastbreak bucket.

Flyers then shut out the Sheffield offence forcing them into a 24-second shot clock violation and a Leslee Smith block. Bristol were playing good defence but struggled to rebound as Sharks had a 13-4 advantage on the boards.

This allowed the visitors to slowly build a lead over the course of the first period. Flyers tried to be more physical on defence but this only resulted in putting Sheffield to the free throw line for extra points. After one Sharks led 10-20.

Flyers closed the gap at the beginning of the second with Smith converting two made free-throws and Mike Vigor sinking a three-pointer. Bristol worked hard on defence but Sharks countered by calmly working the ball around and finding Jordan Davis for a three as the shot clock expired.

Sensing Flyers' offensive surge Sharks deployed full court pressure, but Hameed Ali broke through the Sharks for a baseline drive cutting the deficit to five points. Aaron Cosby followed suit by slashing through the Sheffield defence for an And-1 finger-roll.

Suddenly, it was the visitors committing needless fouls and were in the penalty for the final three minutes of the half. Flyers took advantage by attacking the basket and going to the line for free-throws. As the second quarter came to a close Bristol trailed 33-38.

Sheffield scored on their opening possession of the third with a text book pick and roll. Sharks' Mike Tuck then worked inside for the fade-away bank shot to add to the visitors' advantage. The offensive onslaught continued with Rembert beating the shot clock for a corner three.

Flyers tried to counter by attacking the rim but could not find a basket. Though the momentum rested with Sharks the game remained tight, with only five points separating the teams.

The comeback

The contest seemed destined to be decided in the fourth quarter, as beautiful spin move lay-up by Vigor kept Flyers in striking distance and forced a time out call by Sharks' coach Atiba Lyons.

Ali drove hard under the basket to score a wrap around lay-up and Flyers trailed 53-56.

Flyers tied the game on their first possession of the fourth quarter, with Cosby hitting a shot from behind the arc, but Sharks came returned with a three of their own.

Finally, Flyers took the lead with Boggs finding an opening in Sharks' defence for the lay-up. Ali then found Daniel Edozie inside for the two. Sheffield stormed back up court but failed to score, Ali grabbed the rebound out of the air and swung the ball to Cosby for the corner three.

Smith added 7 rebounds and 1 assist to his night's work.   




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