Sheffield moved clear at the top of the table and the three winless teams remained winless in this weekend's VCARS.co.uk Division 1 Women action.
Sheffield Hatters won the battle of the unbeatens in our Game of the Week as they hammered Loughborough Students Riders 97-54
Riders enjoyed a fast start as they shot 70% from the floor in the first quarter to move into an early lead and they were level with Hatters at 22 at the end of the opening quarter. From that point on though it was all Sheffield as they held Loughborough to 32 points through the final three quarters and scored 75 themselves to win by 43.
Julie Page was again impressive for Sheffield with 30 points and 7 assists and Hatters' starting five (in the absence of Sarah Naylor) contributed 91 of their team's points. Gillian Baird (16) and Maia Bratka (15) led the way for a Loughborough team that played without Maaja Bratka
(190-F/C-92), who averages a double-double this season.
Loughborough coach Matt Harber commented: ""It's never easy when you pick up your first loss of the season, particularly when it's by over 40 points! We knew how difficult this challenge would be coming into the game, but I'm disappointed that we weren't more competitive for longer spells throughout the game.
"I thought our girls made a great start to the game and I think we caught Sheffield off guard initially, but we just couldn't sustain that level of play. Not having Maaja certainly didn't help things and Page had her way with our smaller forwards. We now have this week of practice to evaluate what went wrong and make some necessary adjustments before we go back to Sheffield for round two this weekend!"
Cardiff Archers picked up their third consecutive league win and kept Manchester Mystics winless with a 73-68 win in Wales on Saturday.
Archers led by 6 points at half-time, but were outscored 20-14 in the third to leave the game level entering the final quarter. They stepped up the defensive intensity in the final quarter to limit Mystics to just 11 points and pull away for the win.
Stef Collins (22), Kate Butters
(178-F-86) (18) and Sarah Wagstaff (18) combined for 58 points for Archers, whilst Manchester were led by Hannah Shaw on 15.
Nottingham Wildcats came close to picking up their first league win of the season, but eventually fell 82-78 at home to Leeds Carnegie.
Leeds won each of the first two quarters by a single point and stretched their lead out to 6 points entering the final quarter, but were made to battle all the way by Wildcats, who narrowed the gap in the final quarter.
Both teams were led in scoring by an American player with Katie Bergeron scoring 20 for Carnegie and Nottingham's Taylor Alton
(180-G-93) being the game's top scorer on 21.
The win moves Leeds level with Loughborough in second place with a 4-1 record.
Newham Stars were the third winless team before this weekend and they remained so after a large 78-43 loss at home to Team Northumbria.
Northumbria, who move to 3-2 with the win, were led by 19 points by Ta'Yani Clark as they won the middle two quarters by a combined 47-23 to make their advantage a winning one.
Courtesy of: http://www.englandbasketball.co.uk