Loughborough, Sevenoaks, Team Northumbria and current champions Sheffield Hatters have advanced to the semi finals of the Women's National Cup after wins this past weekend.
A back and forth game at Barking Abbey saw Loughborough Students Riders advance to the Women's National Cup semi finals in their first Division 1 season after a 63-57 win on Sunday.
Abbey exploded into a 23-12 first quarter lead only for Riders to storm back with a 21-8 second period to lead at the break (33-31).
The hosts again took a lead after a further ten minutes but this again was answered by coach Matthew Harber's Loughborough team with a 19-9 final quarter.
Harber was obviously very pleased with the game:
"Today was always going to be a big task for our team who had to play their third game in 5 days! To give credit to the girls, they showed a lot of toughness down the stretch and played through their fatigue and were really composed during the late game moments," he said.
"We struggled early on in the game and we couldn't find much offensive rhythm which led to some bad shot selection and Barking did a great job of capitalising on our mistakes."
Former Nottingham Wildcat and Southend Swift Jennie Rodgers (181-G-92) had 17 points for Loughborough, prompting coach Harber to heap the praise:
"I thought from an individual standpoint, Jennie was outstanding for us and has been forced to lead our team during adversity and she responded very well today. I also want to comment on the quality of our bench as they have been outstanding recently and have done a great job of bringing intensity to the floor when we've needed it most.
"It's obviously a great achievement for our programme to have made the semi finals of the Cup in our first year playing at this level, but we're just remaining focused and taking things one day at a time. We'll return to the floor Tuesday and get back to work as we continue to pursue a higher level of play from our team."
Shequila Joseph had 11 points for Barking Abbey.
Cardiff Archers were denied their chance of a second straight trip to the Women's National Cup final as Sevenoaks Suns emerged as victors in the quarter final game in Wales.
It was Archers' second loss in as many weeks to the Suns, having gone down 80-36 in the VCARS.co.uk Division 1 league on 10 November, but they made a slightly better showing of themselves at home on Sunday.
Cardiff were down 40-28 at the half but cut the Suns' advantage to single digits heading into quarter four.
Sevenoaks, however, took the win led by a pair of good scoring performances from Cheridene Green (25 points) and Rachel James (160-G-89) (20 points).
Player-coach Stef Collins scored 17 for Archers.
Ta'Yani Clark scored 18 points as her Team Northumbrians eliminated Nottingham Wildcats from the Women's National Cup with a 64-43 win.
Northumbria made their mark in the second and third quarters, outscoring Nottingham 40-20 over those 20 minutes, helping them cruise to the win.
Katrin Hulme had 15 points to support Clark for Northumbria and Wildcats were led by Ijeoma Ofomata's 10.
Sarah Naylor (183-F-83) (27), Steph Gandy (25) and Helen Naylor (23) combined for 78 City of Sheffield Hatter points as the 15-time National Cup champs trounced Division 2's Northamptonshire Titans 118-50 in the quarter finals.
A 61-16 first half by the Hatters tells the story of the Sheffield club's dominance this season, not only against a Division 2 side, but in general as they are defeating all teams comfortably early in 2012/13.
Angelina Browne-Akinyemi had 16 to lead Titans who can hold their heads high having left the tournament at this quarter final stage.
The semi final draws for the Women's National Cup are outlined below. Tip off times will be confirmed shortly.
Women's National Cup Semi Finals, 9 December
City of Sheffield Hatters v Loughborough Students Riders
History never stops happening in the WBBL and in our line-up this week is the first ever Caledonia Pride starter. Stefanie Collins(168-PG-82, college: St.Bonaventure)Cardiff Met Archers) The Great Britain legend fired her team to an exciting victory on home soil against the visiting Caledonia Pride, as Archers bounced back from their disappointing loss on BBC Sport at Suns last Friday. Collins contributed 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and didn't have a single turnover to her name... [read more]
History never stops happening in the WBBL and in our line-up this week is the first ever Caledonia Pride starter.
Stefanie Collins (168-PG-82, college: St.Bonaventure)Cardiff Met Archers) The Great Britain legend fired her team to an exciting victory on home soil against the visiting Caledonia Pride, as Archers bounced back from their disappointing loss on BBC Sport at Suns last Friday. Collins contributed 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and didn't have a single turnover to her name in almost 37 minutes of court-time.
Cat Carr (Sevenoaks Suns) The Suns' star was once again the leading force as she propelled Sevenoaks to an excellent road victory at Leicester. Carr took down the Riders with an all-action contribution which was not that far away from a triple-double. She recorded 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, as well as snapping up three steals.
Erika Livermore (Leicester Riders) While Riders had a bad start to the weekend after losing at home to Suns, Livermore registered a smart display at Barking Abbey Crusaders to get Leicester back on a winning track. She corralled a double-double of 23 points from 75% floor-shooting and making all eleven of her free-throws. She also pulled down an eye-catching 11 rebounds.
Ashley Harris (Nottingham Wildcats) There's no stopping our season leader who is becoming something of a permanent fixture in our starting five. The latest berth for Harris comes off the back of a brilliant double-double in the win against title rivals Manchester Mystics. She finished with a superb 25 points and 13 rebounds; as well as handing out four assists.
Tricia Oakes (Caledonia Pride) It's a slice of history for the centre as she becomes the first Caledonia Pride player to feature as an All-Star Five starter. Oakes was a tower of strength for the Scottish club as they came away with their landmark victory at Oaklands Wolves. She garnered a nice double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, as well as swatting three shots.
Off the bench - Georgia Gayle (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters), Anne Pedersen (Sevenoaks Suns), Alison Gorrell (Team Northumbria), Savannah Wilkinson (Barking Abbey Crusaders), Kata Fulop (Oaklands Wolves), Holly Winterburn (Leicester Riders), Kara Bonenberger (Team Northumbria)
History was made on Sunday as Caledonia Pride ended their wait for a first-ever win in the WBBL. The Scottish franchise came out on top in the battle of this season's newcomers after recording a 55-65 success away at Oaklands Wolves. Natalie Bastian and Tricia Oakes both put up double-doubles in the win with Beth Mackie netting a joint team-high of 15 points from the bench. Caledonia had fell agonisingly short less than 24 hours after losing 73-71 at Cardiff Met Archers - with 23 point... [read more]
History was made on Sunday as Caledonia Pride ended their wait for a first-ever win in the WBBL.
The Scottish franchise came out on top in the battle of this season's newcomers after recording a 55-65 success away at Oaklands Wolves.
Natalie Bastian and Tricia Oakes both put up double-doubles in the win with Beth Mackie netting a joint team-high of 15 points from the bench.
Caledonia had fell agonisingly short less than 24 hours after losing 73-71 at Cardiff Met Archers - with 23 points from Sarah Wagstaff helping the Welsh side to a third win.
And Mackie was understandably delighted Caledonia were able to finally get over the line yesterday.
"It feels amazing to get that first win," she declared. "Especially after coming so close [on Saturday] and in a number of other games this season.
"It's great to see the hard work paying off - the happiness and pride when the final buzzer went was unbelievable.
"With each game, we have been getting stronger and learning and growing as a team.
"We never allow ourselves to be down for too long and the positive mindset instilled in us by Bart (Sengers) is the reason we won and bounced back so quickly."
Mackie added: "We will take a lot of confidence forward from this game.
"We have finally broken away from those close games we have struggled to close out in the past.
"The Play-Offs are definitely our goal as we feel we can challenge most teams in this league especially given some of our defensive performances."
Meanwhile, at the top, Nottingham Wildcats strengthened their position as the league leaders as they defeated one of their main rivals, Manchester Mystics, 82-68.
Ashley Harris (187-F/C-90, college: Wayne St., NE) posted 25 points and 13 rebounds in the win as the Wildcats improved to 10-1 with a strong second half performance.
Second-placed Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters lost ground as they were beaten 93-83 on the road against Team Northumbria, despite a combined 53 points from Georgia Gayle and Helen Naylor.
The home side led by as many as 22 points in the opening half, but had to hold off a strong fightback from the Hatters with Alison Gorrell finishing with 26 points in her side's 5th league victory.
It was a great double-winning weekend for Sevenoaks Suns as Len Busch's side started by beating Cardiff Met Archers 81-47 in front of the BBC Sport cameras.
They followed with an impressive 71-79 triumph at Leicester Riders as Cat Carr netted 26 points to move into fourth with a 7-4 record.
However, the Riders bounced back and re-gained their place in the top four after edging out Barking Abbey Crusaders 66-70 away from home with Savannah Wilkinson scoring 32 points in the loss.
Nottingham Wildcats now have a cushion at the top of the WBBL Championship, while Caledonia Pride made history on Sunday. Caledonia defeated Oaklands Wolves 55-65 on the road for their first-ever league victory with Natalie Bastian and Beth Mackie(170-G-94) netting 15 points apiece. Nottingham defeated close rivals Manchester Mystics 82-68 behind 25 points from Ashley Harris, while second-placed Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters were beaten 93-83 away at Team Northumbria with Alison Go... [read more]
Nottingham Wildcats now have a cushion at the top of the WBBL Championship, while Caledonia Pride made history on Sunday.
Caledonia defeated Oaklands Wolves 55-65 on the road for their first-ever league victory with Natalie Bastian and Beth Mackie (170-G-94) netting 15 points apiece.
Nottingham defeated close rivals Manchester Mystics 82-68 behind 25 points from Ashley Harris, while second-placed Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters were beaten 93-83 away at Team Northumbria with Alison Gorrell pouring in 26 points.
Also, there was a win for Leicester Riders as they overcame 32 points from Savannah Wilkinson to beat Barking Abbey Crusaders 66-70 on the road. WBBL Championship Oaklands Wolves 55 (17,29,47) (Fulop 19, Fleming 11, Harrison 7) Caledonia Pride 65 (21,39,48) (Bastian/Mackie 15, Oakes 14)
Caledonia Pride made history with a long-awaited maiden triumph in the WBBL after beating Oaklands Wolves 55-65 away from home.
Beth Mackie scored 15 points off the bench, while Natalie Bastian - 15 points, 12 rebounds - and Tricia Oakes - 14 points, 12 rebounds - both posted double-doubles to help Pride to victory.
Sarah Thomson connected with back-to-back triples in the first as Caledonia took an early lead and opened up a 17-21 advantage after 10 minutes.
Two more 3-pointers from Thomson followed at the start of the second in a 10-2 start as Pride moved up by 12 points. The double-digit gap remained in tact heading into half-time before the home side mounted their fightback.
Oaklands went on a 13-3 run to level the game at 42 before taking the lead shortly after on a three from Krisztina Nagy.
However, Caledonia were not to be denied and responded with a 14-2 burst across quarters to restore their 10-point lead and went on to secure a memorable victory.
Kata Fulop led the Wolves with 19 points as they now have a 0-11 record, still waiting to follow up their lone WBBL Cup victory earlier in the season.
WBBL Championship Team Northumbria 93 (28,55,68) (Gorrell 26, Bonenberger 20, Bland 17) Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 83 (15,38,65) (Gayle 27, Naylor 26, Gandy 10)
Team Northumbria recorded an impressive 93-83 home victory over the in-form Westfield Heatlh Sheffield Hatters, on Sunday.
Chris Bunten's side were one of four teams beaten by the Hatters in the Trophy pool stages, but they avenged the loss to improve to 5-5 in the league.
Alison Gorrell led the way with a team-high of 26 points with Kara Bonnenberger adding 20 points and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee dished out nine assists.
The game was tied at 10 early on before the hosts went on a blistering 18-2 run with Rachael Bland scoring 10 of her 17 points off the bench.
Northumbria continued to dominate and the lead hit 23 points at 51-28 late in the second period before the Hatters mounted an impressive comeback.
With the gap trimmed to 17 at the half, Sheffield opened the third with a 16-2 charge to close within four points. The home side managed to keep their opponents at bay as an exciting finish ensued.
The visitors made it a one-possesion game ahead of the final two minutes, but Northumbria kept their nerve at the line and closed out the victory.
Georgia Gayle and Helen Naylor combined for 53 points in the defeat, whilst firing in 11 triples between them, though the Hatters now drop to 8-3.
Nottingham Wildcats secured an important win in their pursuit of the league title as they defeated Manchester Mystics 82-68.
The Wildcats now improve to 10-1 in the league and have opened up a cushion over their closest rivals with Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters beaten.
Ashley Harris posted 25 points and 13 rebounds as four starters hit double figures including captain, Siobhan Prior, who added 17 points.
Harris and Prior both netted early triples as the home side opened up a 17-7 lead in the first. However, Manchester rallied to close within two points before taking the lead in the second as 30-23 became 36-37 with Amy Browne connecting from three.
The Mystics earned their largest lead of the game after moving up by seven early in the third, but the hosts came storming back with an 18-2 response.
Nottingham opened up a double-digit advantage in the fourth and were able to close the game out in style to go clear at the top.
Georgia Jones finished with a game-high of 28 points, but the Mystics drop their third league game of the campaign.
Leicester Riders bounced back from yesterday's defeat with a 66-70 win on the road at Barking Abbey Crusaders, despite 32 points from Savannah Wilkinson.
The victory - Leicester's eighth of the league campaign - sees them move back into the top four with Erika Livermore leading the way with another double-double.
Livermore finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Erin McGarrachan added a 17-point haul including nine early in the fourth.
Wilkinson scored her side's first 15 points in the contest, but it was the visitors who edged ahead at the end of the opening period. Barking Abbey fell further behind early in the second before getting back on level terms at 26-26.
However, a 7-0 response from the Riders gave them the advantage heading into the interval and they were able increase their lead to double digits behind nine points from Livermore in the third.
A 9-0 run across quarters saw the home side cut the gap at 44-46 before the Riders opened up a 12-point lead. Another fightback followed, but the Crusaders fell short with Mollie Campbell's late basket sealing the win.
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