Pride completed the second game of their weekend of back-to-back away fixtures as they faced off against Nottingham Wildcats on Sunday 1st March.
It was the home side who started strongest however, as Wildcats raced out to an early 8-2 lead, with Pride’s opening score coming off a driving layup by Sian Phillips. This led Pride into a timeout to regroup, out of which Stella Fouraki added 2 points out of a pick and roll with Hannah Robb. But Wildcats’ Portuguese guard Simone Costa was proving to be a problem for Pride’s defence to handle as she continually found ways to score, accumulating 12 points in the opening 7 minutes as Nottingham stretched out to a 18-6 lead. A 3-pointer from Maela Faleu helped reduce the gap for Pride as went into the final seconds of the 1st down 10, but 3 late free-throws to close the quarter made the score 23-10.
Pride would look to bounce back in the 2nd quarter, and an early 6-0 run through layups from sisters Jannike and Hansine Marshall and Sian Phillips showed signs of a spark for Pride as they closed to 25-16. Phillips continued her scoring, on her way to 10 points in the 1st half, and she was supported by Pollyanna Storie, who added a layup and a 3-pointer. But late in the quarter Simone Costa and Tia Freeman provided Wildcats with a scoring run that stretched the lead out to 14 points late in the quarter, before Freeman provided another late period dagger with a transition 3-pointer to end the half and give Nottingham a 43-26 lead at the half.
The second half began slowly for both teams, but a 6-0 run in the first 3 minutes of the period for Nottingham took their lead beyond 20 points for the first time. Hannah Robb answered back with consecutive layups for Pride, before the home side answered back and a trade of scores between Wildcats and Pride’s Stella Fouraki, Rose Harvey and Maela Faleu took the score to 57-35 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Scores from Jasmine Joyner, Mariam Olawoyin and Siobhan Prior for Nottingham were countered by layups by Hannah Robb and Stella Fouraki in the opening 6 minutes of a low scoring final quarter, as Pride were unable to find a way to consistently combine the stops and scores that would allow them back into the game. The game finished much as it had started, with Wildcats staging a 10-2 run in the final 3 minutes that allowed them to close out the game for a big 76-41 win that keeps them in the race for a top 4 finish in the WBBL Championship.
Pride were led on the day by Stella Fouraki, with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, supported by Sian Phillips who added 10 points and 6 rebounds on what was a difficult day for Pride offensively.
Simone Costa was the game’s top scorer with 21 points and Jasmine Joyner also added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Wildcats.
Speaking after the game, Pride assistant coach Donnie MacDonald said: “This is obviously a disappointing outcome today, particularly after the game against Manchester where we had performed so strongly as a team. We will look back at this to learn try and learn from it, but ultimately we need to find a greater level of consistency in our performances going forward.”