Carnegie's Buzzer Nightmare
Carnegie were dealt a huge blow after playing arguably the best half of basketball of the season. A controversial buzzer beater, which was awarded to Bristol, saw Leeds lose 80-78 after leading for nearly the entire game. See the video below and hoopsfix.com’s article about the shot.
The first quarter started in fairy tale fashion. Carnegie, who have a disappointing 4-8 record, should have been odds on favourite to lose against league leaders Bristol. However the team have been making huge strides in the past few weeks and after a huge win over local rivals Bradford, the team knew they could surprise the Flyers. They certainly succeeded, after back to back threes from guard Henry Wilkins in the first two possessions of the game, the team didn’t look back in the first quarter. The team was firing on all cylinders, Dave Ajumobi had racked up 7 points and 7 rebounds, capped off by Wilkins hitting another three consecutive threes to end the quarter. The quarter would end with Carnegie firmly in control, leading 34-18.
The second quarter would see Leeds briefly stretch the lead out to 19 points off of a fast break lay up from Gyorgy Polya. Bristol would then start to make their run, they would reduce the deficit to 12 points after a McLaughlin-Williams three point play mid way through the quarter. However Carnegie would withstand the push and behind Armand Anebo’s first three pointer of the season on his way to a double double (18 points, 11 rebounds), would push the lead back out to 15 points. A Greg Streete three pointer would bring Bristol back at Carnegie and the quarter would end 49-37. As described by commentator Mike Shaft ‘Probably the best half of basketball in EBL Division One this season.’
After the break the Flyers were clearly determined to get back into the game and opened up with a McLaughlin-Williams three pointer. It was however Carnegie’s captain Sean Clifford’s turn to step up, He would make three drives to the basket on back to back possessions, to maintain Carnegie’s buffer. Bristol’s Bowne would close out the quarter with back to back put backs, making the difference just five points heading into the final period. The score 63-58.
The final quarter would start exactly how the Leeds crowd were hoping for, a 5-0 run to start the quarter saw them stretch it out to a ten point lead again. An Ajumobi and one put back would see him complete his double double. (14 points, 11 rebounds) Bristol would again continue to fight back and after two made Treasure freethrows, Bristol would get their first lead of the game with just under two minutes to play. Carnegie however were far from done, they came right back to tie the game and Anebo would grab a long rebound and go coast-to-coast to stretch it to a 5 point lead with 45 seconds left to play in the game. With Leeds looking in control of the game, Greg Streete for Bristol had other ideas, he hit a huge three pointer and then got a steal at the half and would finish at the basket to tie the game up with under 15 seconds left to play. After a quick push, the ball would land in the hands of Carnegie’s new recruit Babs Somoye who would get fouled at the hoop. With two free throws with exactly nine seconds to play and the game tied. He had a chance to put Leeds back in front. He would hit the first, after he missed the second there would be a scramble for the ball that saw it land out of bounds. The referees would award the ball to Bristol. With 6.8 seconds to play they pushed the ball up the court and it would land in the hands of Alfaki, he would heave it from the wing to see it drop in the hoop. After a few seconds deliberating, the referees awarded the points. Should it have counted? See for yourself on the video below:
Henry Wilkins – 20 Points, 3 Rebounds, 2 Assists
Armand Anebo – 18 Points, 11 Rebounds
Sean Clifford – 16 Points, 6 Rebounds, 5 Assists
Bristol Academy Flyers
Doug McLaughlin-Williams – 22 Points, 4 Rebounds
Davis Bowne – 13 Points, 11 Rebounds
Tyrone Treasure – 12 Points, 5 Rebounds