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
It's our last line-up from the WBBL Regular Season and also the penultimate starting five of the entire 2016-17 campaign! Alex Smith (Leicester Riders) It was a scintillating second place finish for Riders and much of their best work this season has come from their talented guard. Smith was in terrific form during the last day win at Cardiff Met Archers, as she collected a stellar double-double of 20 points and a spectacular 14 assists to sign off the Regular Season in style. Alison Gor... [read more]
It's our last line-up from the WBBL Regular Season and also the penultimate starting five of the entire 2016-17 campaign!
Alex Smith (Leicester Riders) It was a scintillating second place finish for Riders and much of their best work this season has come from their talented guard. Smith was in terrific form during the last day win at Cardiff Met Archers, as she collected a stellar double-double of 20 points and a spectacular 14 assists to sign off the Regular Season in style.
Alison Gorrell (Team Northumbria) She may have started quietly against Caledonia Pride, but Gorrell was like a runaway train as she took over the contest at Sport Central. She denied the visitors a potential dream ticket to the Play-Offs with a tremendous night of work. Her final stat-line saw her score 25 points, grab five boards, snap up four steals, hand out two assists and not commit a single turnover.
Lauren Thomas-Johnson (178-G-88, college: Marquette) (Manchester Mystics) Mystics managed to take a top-four finish thanks to completing their scheduled fixtures with a hard-fought win against bottom side Oaklands Wolves. Thomas-Johnson was a colossus for the hosts as she kept up her excellent work on the boards of late. Her final tally of 10 rebounds facilitated a classy double-double for the GB player, who poured in 25 points.
Kara Bonenberger (Team Northumbria) While Gorrell made some serious noise in the backcourt for Northumbria, it was Bonenberger who did the business inside as she showcased her skill-set with great effect. She cut down Caledonia with some devastating play under the hoop and was relentless on the glass. That contributed to her amassing a wonderful double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Erika Livermore (Leicester Riders) The frontcourt star proved tough to handle for the Archers defence, who wilted under her constant pressure in the paint and ruthless efficiency. Livermore cut down her Welsh opponents by racking up a stellar double-double of 22 points and 13 boards, to catapult Riders into second spot and into this weekend's Play-Offs with real momentum.
Off the Bench - Savannah Wilkinson (Barking Abbey Crusaders), Judit Fritz (Cardiff Met Archers), Sarah Thomson (Caledonia Pride), Abigail Johnson (Barking Abbey Crusaders), Gabby Nikitinaite (Sevenoaks Suns), Ashley Harris (Nottingham Wildcats, Brittany Winborne (Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters).
Southwark gain D1W revenge as they top league winners Solent to claim playoff crown - 3 days ago
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A 15-5 4th quarter run from the Pride was enough to seal the final clash of the season between Southwark and Solent. Evenly poised at 45-45 early in the final period, the Kestrels went cold at the worst time possible and fell to a 67-53 defeat. Eager to erase the memory of a National Cup Final loss to the same opponent, Coach Lee's side came out strong and gave their supporters real hope that their D1W winning form could be translated in to post season success. But going 5/22 from the flo... [read more]
A 15-5 4th quarter run from the Pride was enough to seal the final clash of the season between Southwark and Solent. Evenly poised at 45-45 early in the final period, the Kestrels went cold at the worst time possible and fell to a 67-53 defeat. Eager to erase the memory of a National Cup Final loss to the same opponent, Coach Lee's side came out strong and gave their supporters real hope that their D1W winning form could be translated in to post season success. But going 5/22 from the floor in the final frame was too much to overcome for the South Coast side and the contest was decided from there. Southwark's Alimat Onuyemi-Daniel was a worthy recipient of the MVP award as she scored 26 points, including 16 in the final quarter, to ensure the title of Playoff Champions belonged to the London club. After losing out to Solent by the narrowest of margins during the regular season, Southwark weren't going to let a shot at revenge pass without taking advantage. It didn't look that way in the early stages though as the Kestrels were able to take advantage of 9 Pride turnovers to establish a 22-14 lead. Feeling they needed to change the flow of the game, the London side leant on the talents of Emerald Ekpiteta (SG-97), absent for Solent's league win over Southwark this year, who scored 9 points in the quarter to help reduce the deficit. With both coaches using their benches extensively, plenty of players had the opportunity to put their mark on the game. No one did it more than Ekpiteta in that 2nd period though and the teams went into the break at 35-32 Solent. The longer the game wore on, the more Solent began to struggle. So confident when they were ahead, as soon as Southward grabbed the lead midway through the 3rd the game began to change. Jodie Jerram (163-G) and Ekemini Essien (175-G-97) both found life hard for the Kestrels as neither managed to score in the frame and shots that were dropping earlier in the contest were now struggling to find their mark. With a minute to go, Southwark were up by 6 but had to settle for a 4-point lead after the D1W champs closed the 3rd with the final basket. With just over a minute gone in the final quarter, Solent did manage to fight back and tie the score up but after that it was a slow and painful end to the game. Everything the Kestrels attempted just wouldn't come off as Southwark once again began to pull away. Becoming more desperate as time began to tick by, that urgency simply led to more misses and poorer looks. Going 1/12 from behind the arc in the final quarter did nothing to help the Solent cause on an afternoon when they matched Southwark for the most part before letting things slip away. The victory was a fitting way to end the season for the Pride as the London based side are expected to have a significantly different roster in place for the start of next season. Based at an academic institution, it's probable that north of 5 players will be leaving this programme during the summer and it will be interesting to see if Coach Gibbons can find suitable replacements from a new intake. That might help rivals Solent in the long run but today it was no solace at all. Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
University of Nottingham take home D2W Playoff title - 3 days ago
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University of Nottingham used a big 3rd quarter, including 6 three pointers to beat Team Birmingham Elite 75-68 and claim the WNBL Division 2 Playoff Title. A back and forth contest, Birmingham dominated the early going behind the solid 1-2 combo of guard Becky Brindley and forward Lucy Allen. But as the game progressed, Nottingham adjusted and limited Allen's looks to begin turning the game in their favour. Another key component of that turnaround was the hot shooting of Nottingham's Ele... [read more]
University of Nottingham used a big 3rd quarter, including 6 three pointers to beat Team Birmingham Elite 75-68 and claim the WNBL Division 2 Playoff Title. A back and forth contest, Birmingham dominated the early going behind the solid 1-2 combo of guard Becky Brindley and forward Lucy Allen. But as the game progressed, Nottingham adjusted and limited Allen's looks to begin turning the game in their favour. Another key component of that turnaround was the hot shooting of Nottingham's Eleanor Bishop as she began to heat up in the 2nd half. Finishing with 28 points after going 8/13 from beyond the arc, her upturn in form helped the University side grab the initiative and build a lead they'd never relinquish. Nottingham's D2W North MVP Gaby Bronson (183-G) added another MVP award to her resume with a well rounded performance. Amassing 23 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals, she was a factor throughout and a deserved recipient. Allen and Brindley both started the game well, leading many in attendance to believe that Birmingham might have too much for the University side. Frequent plays in the opening quarter saw the ball in the hands of Brindley before she'd cut to the basket, exploiting the defensive attention to dish a measured assist to Allen. By the end of the period, Allen had 11 points and Brindley had 7 assists. That opening 10 minutes provided plenty of food for thought for D2W North Coach of the Year Andrea Congreaves and she quickly set about adjusting her teams game plan for the remainder of the game. Her tactics clearly had the desired effect as Brindley only managed 5 more assists and Allen scored 10 more points in the remaining 30 minutes of action. With an even 2nd quarter finishing tied at 16-16, it was 38-31 Birmingham at the half. The 3rd quarter belonged to Nottingham, or more accurately to Eleanor Bishop. The talented guard time and again let fly from distance with a consistent level of success. When Birmingham did take steps to try and chase her off the perimeter, Gaby Bronson was more than willing to take advantage of the extra space. A 31-11 quarter was manufactured largely by Bishop though who went 4/5 from deep to add 14 points to the Nottingham cause. With Birmingham unable to work the ball inside to Allen for the level of success they enjoyed in the 1st quarter, the game quickly changed. Starting the final frame up by 13, that quickly became 16 when Bishop hit yet another 3 and many would have been forgiven for thinking the game was set up for a quiet final 10 minutes. Becky Brindley had other ideas though and the Birmingham guard went from provider to scorer to ditch her early assists for 13 final quarter points. That helped to trim the Nottingham lead all the way down to just 3 with 3 minutes on the clock. Try as they might down the stretch though, Birmingham just couldn't find the scores they needed to get any closer, much to their despair. Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
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