London Lions lose on the buzzer at Bristol
PUBLISHED: 08:18 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:18 27 February 2017
Bristol Flyers 73 London Lions 72
London Lions lost in Bristol for the first time ever last night in controversial circumstances as Brandon Boggs hit a three-pointer on the buzzer.
The visitors signed the team sheet under protest as the staff felt their interests were not looked after by the game officials.
A timeout with the ball belonging to Bristol saw the shot clock showing eight seconds and the game clock showing 14 seconds, with a Hameed Ali shot looking close to being after the 24-second clock had sounded.
And there was some controversy over whether the shot hit the ring before being retrieved by Bristol and Boggs scored the winner again as the buzzer sounded.
The Lions protest surrounds the fact that buzzers were heard twice from the table on the first shot, and it appears the game clock was halted temporarily and re-run giving enough time for Boggs’ shot.
When checking the time between both buzzers it shows 7.2 seconds, when there should only have been six seconds between each buzzer at most.
Lions assistant coach Robert Youngblood immediately approached the referees after the game, but they chose not to consult the table and headed out of the venue. The table indicated something was wrong but the Lions could do nothing but sign the sheet in protest at the end of a tense game.
For much of the game it had looked like Flyers would break their hoodoo in comfort and not least when they had fashioned a double-digit lead at half-time, to head into the third quarter with a nice cushion.
The Lions had been fairly dire in the first half, with the three Americans, Zaire Taylor, Alex Owumi and Rashad Hassan shooting an awful three from 26 combined.
With Kai Williams missing through an injury, Joe Ikhinmwin started and chipped in with 10 points by the break as Flyers led 44-33.
Coach Nigel Lloyd’s team came storming back to get themselves into contention as Hassan, who had been one-for-nine at the break went a stunning seven-from-seven as he hauled his side back into the contest.
After a jump-shot by Taylor in crunch time and having shut down the Flyers offence to just eight points in the last nine minutes and 59 seconds of the contest, it looked like Lions would take a two-point win.
Taylor completed a reverse lay-up and the visitors led by two points before all the mayhem broke loose.
But, Boggs stepped up from the wing and hit the clutch shot as the clock counted down, to spark scenes of jubilation at the WISE Arena.
Lions will now return home to face the Leeds Force on Sunday in need of a complete change in fortune.
Lions: Hassan 18, Taylor 16, Niktash 16, Ikhinmwin 15, Owumi 3, Lockhart 2, Wells 2, Moyo 0.
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