Loughborough Students Riders and City of Sheffield Hatters stay top of the VCARS.co.uk Division 1 Women's table after they both recorded comfortable wins on the weekend.
Although Loughborough Students Riders recorded a double digit (77-59) win over NASSA Stars on Saturday, coach Matthew Harber admits there is much to do if they want to maintain their perfect record.
"At times throughout the game we looked very fluid and found good offensive rhythm, but there were patches where frankly we just weren't playing at an acceptable level," he said. "If we continue to turn the ball over as frequently as we did today then we will struggle to give ourselves a chance to win games."
Riders won the first and third quarters by double figures easing them to victory but coach Harber admits they did have trouble containing some of Stars' players:
"I thought NASSA looked dangerous in spells and it's clear how they ran both Barking and Leeds close during their previous games. I thought Davids and Monakana did a good job and caused us a lot of problems during dribble penetration - they're both tough to contain," he said.
"Although it was great to remain undefeated, it's clear that we will need to play at a much higher level for sustained periods of time if we are to compete with Sheffield next weekend."
Rochelle Davids (168-G-87) led all scorers with 18 points for NASSA (Janice Monakana (183-F-95) had 16) and Loughborough were led by 16 Gillian Baird points.
A monstrous first half from City of Sheffield Hatters saw them hand Barking Abbey their first loss of the season, 89-59.
Hatters were up 50-24 at the break and though the second half was closer, it was too much of a hill for Abbey to climb as they accepted their first defeat of the season to the current champions.
Kashmere Joseph had 16 points for Barking Abbey and Julie Page had 15 to lead Hatters.
American Taylor Alton (180-G-93) made her debut with Nottingham Wildcats this weekend and topped all scorers with 22 points, but it wasn't enough to stop Cardiff Archers from winning their second league game of the season, 76-51.
Archers steadily built their lead in the game and by the start of the fourth they led comfortably, 64-33.
Wildcats now drop to 0-3 while Archers go level at 2-2.
Stef Collins led Cardiff with 19 points on Saturday.
Our Game of the Week proved a good choice as a close match in West Yorkshire saw Leeds Carnegie move into third place after a 78-75 win over Sevenoaks.
Coach Nick Dawson said, "We played a great game offensively tonight, we were able to score in a variety of ways all game. We really came together nicely all game long for the first time since Manchester, so I'm very happy on the offensive side. On defence however, we allowed an excellent shooting team just far too many open looks. Our double teams were also poorly executed and that contributed a lot. We know that's something we need to work on if we want to climb the league. However credit to Sevenoaks, they all shot the ball really well, I think even Coach Busch made a couple of threes!!"
Dawson cotinued, "We are third in the league because we have played just well enough for it. The games we've won, we've always looked like winning, however we need to be more consistent on both hands of the floor if we want to be a serious contender in this league.'
The game was tight from start to finish and despite a big outing from Megan Lewis (180-G-95) (32 points), Leeds hung on for their third league win this season.
Greta Luksyte had 24 points to lead coach Nick Dawson's Carnegie team.
Team Northumbria staged a big second half comeback to defeat Manchester Mystics 57-56 in the north east on Saturday.
Northumbria actually led after the first period (14-10), but a horrid second quarter saw them score only 2 points as Mystics took a 26-16 lead into the break.
The comeback came in the third when Team Northumbria outscored Manchester 24-12 and a close final quarter saw the hosts edge the win.
Hannah Shaw led all point scorers with 22 for Manchester, while Ta'Yani Clark had 18 for Northumbria.
Southwark gain D1W revenge as they top league winners Solent to claim playoff crown - 1 day 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 - 1 day 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
The 2016-17 WBBL regular season is in the books after the final round of games took place at the weekend. With Nottingham Wildcats having already secured the league title, the battle for positioning was intense and there was still one Play-Off spot to be decided. Caledonia Pride's hopes of making the post-season in their first season in the league came to an end on Friday as they were beaten 76-57 away at Team Northumbria with 25 points for Alison Gorrell. That meant Cardiff Met Archer... [read more]
The 2016-17 WBBL regular season is in the books after the final round of games took place at the weekend.
With Nottingham Wildcats having already secured the league title, the battle for positioning was intense and there was still one Play-Off spot to be decided.
Caledonia Pride's hopes of making the post-season in their first season in the league came to an end on Friday as they were beaten 76-57 away at Team Northumbria with 25 points for Alison Gorrell.
That meant Cardiff Met Archers were assured of a top eight finish and they also ended up with a 5-13 record after going down 62-111 at home to Leicester Riders the following day.
Erika Livermore (185-C-93, college: Fair Dickinson) posted 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Alex Smith added 20 points and 11 assists as the Riders wrapped up an impressive second-placed finish.
Meanwhile, Barking Abbey Crusaders recorded a hard-fought 70-72 triumph on the road at Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters to close out their campaign on a high.
Savannah Wilkinson led the way with 15 points and believes the win will give her side a boost heading into the post-season.
"The win against Sheffield was huge for us as we haven't beaten them before," declared Wilkinson.
"Everyone was so proud of our performance and it has really given us positive momentum and a positive mindset before our Play-Off game next week."
Sevenoaks Suns secured third spot in the league after claiming a 64-54 victory over the league champions, Nottingham Wildcats.
Gabby Nikitinaite starred with 25 points and eight rebounds to ensure her side had a home Quarter-Final in the Play-Offs.
Also, Manchester Mystics defeated Oaklands Wolves 79-71 to leave the visitors without a league win and they would finish fourth following Sheffield's loss.
Lauren Thomas-Johnson poured in a 25-point haul in the win and the Mystics will take on the Hatters in what promises to be an exciting Play-Off matchup.
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