WORCESTER Wolves head coach Paul James admitted his team ‘fell into a hole’ as they suffered a 81-73 defeat to Bristol Flyers at the WISE Arena on Saturday.
The loss sees Wolves slip out of the British Basketball League play-off places for the first times this season, leaving them in ninth with just ten points from 16 games.
“We had the opportunities to take our chances, but unfortunately missed way too many shots,” said James.
“Every time you miss shots you lose confidence, whilst the opposition gain confidence. We fell into a hole that we couldn’t climb out of.
“We have to do a much better job of finishing off easy chances,” he added.
Maurice Walker was first to get the scoreboard ticking over, but it would turn out to be the only time the visitors were in front during the contest.
By midway through the first quarter, eight points in a row from Bristol’s bustling forward Leslee Smith had put them 13-7 ahead.
Entering the second period Bristol led 22-17, but that gap was extended grossly as Wolves failed to halt Bristol’s attacking prowess, resulting in an emphatic 37-21 scoreline with just four minutes of the half to play.
Wolves clawed their way back before the interval though, when Marek Klassen scored after dispossessing Smith, before taking an assist after a steal by Danny Huffor which closed the deficit to 39-32.
But the hosts soon regained control in the second-half as they scored points on almost every possession and disrupted Worcester’s ability to reply, building a 63-47 advantage.
Unable to connect from distance, Wolves were left to battle close to the basket and things went from bad to worse when Walker was adjudged to have transgressed enough to earn himself a second technical foul, which saw him ejected from the match.
Late three-pointers from Huffor gave the possibility of an upset as he reduced the arrears to 77-73 with just 45 seconds to play, but Flyers held their nerve to close out the win.
Klassen led the Worcester scorers with 18 points, closely followed by Walker and Huffor with 17 and 16 points respectively.
Wolves face a trip to league-leaders Newcastle Eagles Friday night (tip-off 7.30pm).