A SECOND-half slump left Worcester Wolves staring at an 82-62 defeat imposed upon them by a rampant Bristol Flyers at the University of Worcester Arena.
A minute after half-time the momentum was all with Wolves as they held a 46-36 lead, forcing a Flyers timeout. A remarkable transformation ensued for the remainder of the match as Bristol outscored their mesmerized hosts by a stunning thirty points.
Jordan Williams stood as the only Worcester man to convert from the field in the opening eight minutes of the evening, while Bristol raced 18-8 ahead.
But the deficit was halved in the last eight seconds of the first quarter after Maarten Bouwknecht laid on a score for backup centre Daniel Johnson-Thompson and then intercepted an inbounded pass to drain a buzzer-beater.
The revival carried over into the second period as players stepped off the bench to provide sparks. Henry Wilkins produced a solo drive to draw the sides level at 23-23 and assisted Johnson-Thompson to increase his tally.
Elijah Burns and Lamarr Kimble both found their touch, with the latter also swinging the ball over to Micah Elan who connected from the perimeter for a 41-36 interval advantage.
By midway through the third quarter Wolves still held sway at 53-44 before ascendancy dramatically switched. Great Britain guards Ben Mockford and Teddy Okereafor sank a series of three-pointers to catapult Flyers 58-53 in front entering the final ten minutes of action.
Bristol only solidified their control after that. Mockford was unerring in his aim, making further triples and even notching points after throwing up an outrageous shot as he fell backwards to the floor, bringing up an insurmountable 76-58 lead with four minutes to go.
Burns and Kimble tallied 15 and 13 points respectively, with Williams the only other double-digit Worcester scorer with ten points.
Coach Matt Newby expressed his disappointment about the performance and said: “We began poorly, changed our rotation and managed to get a great spell of play from our bench to set us up for the second half, but fell apart shortly after that.”
“We got into a cycle of mistakes at both ends of the court which Bristol capitalized on. We dialled out on their shooters, stopped pulling in the same direction and just didn’t deliver.”
Wolves proceed to their third game in five days when they travel to London Lions tomorrow (Sunday).
“Sunday has to be about us showing up in London switched on and showing some semblance of resistance,” added Newby.
“We’ll be on the last of a quick spell of matches and have to be willing to give the game whatever is left in the tank.”