Caledonia Pride fell to Nottingham Wildcats for the second consecutive week as the visitors recorded a 58-75 win at Pleasance in the 19/20 WBBL Championship opener.
Nottingham started the game strongly with a 10-point streak, inspired by an early four points from Jasmine Joyner (21 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists) before Sian Phillips (9 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists) opened Pride’s account with a layup in the paint.
Stella Fouraki (8 points, 12 rebounds) added her first points of the game, briefly reducing the deficit to nine, but from then onwards Wildcats took control of the game. Pride’s fouling cost the team as Nottingham added four points from the free throw line. Joyner recorded eleven more points in the latter stages of the first, including an and-one as the final play of the quarter. 4-25.
It took just eleven seconds of the second for Ella Doherty (10 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists) to record Pride’s first score but Nottingham replied instantly to maintain their advantage. A low scoring period followed, with Nottingham adding just three points before calling a timeout with six minutes of the half to play.
Pride came to life after the timeout, going on an 8-2 scoring run – which included three-pointers from Phillips and Hannah Robb (24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists) – to eat away at Nottingham’s lead. For the rest of the quarter the teams were neck and neck, with Fouraki, Phillips and Robb all adding to their tallies as Pride ended the half down by 17. 26-43.
It was another slow start to the third as Nottingham added five without reply before Hansine Marshall found the basket from behind the arc with seven minutes to play. The low scoring continued throughout the third as both teams worked hard on defence.
Chelsea Shumpert (18 points, 5 assists, 4 steals) scored a three-pointer with a few minutes remaining and added two more before Pride responded with six points of their own. The end of the third saw both teams go on a scoring frenzy as nine baskets were recorded in the last 90 seconds. 39-64.
Nottingham added four more quick points to take the game fully away from Pride early in the fourth, opening up a game-high 29-point advantage. Robb responded with her third three-pointer of the game before Wildcats added three more points of their own.
The final five minutes belonged to Pride as they ended the game with a 16-4 scoring run. Robb led by example as she recorded eleven straight points for Pride, including three consecutive three-pointers. Doherty added three more points before Robb wrapped the game up with a late layup, a basket that took her tally for the game to a WBBL career high 24 points. 58-75.
Speaking after the game, Captain Hannah Robb was proud of her team’s effort in front of the home crowd:
“It was really good, I love our games at the CSE. The atmosphere was great, although it was a tough match up for us just now as we’re a bit depleted by injuries, but I think we did a great job to fight back and put ourselves in a good position in the game.”