Caledonia Pride fell short on Sunday as reigning WBBL Champions, Sevenoaks Suns, picked up a 78-44 win in Kent.

The first few minutes were low scoring, with Suns gaining a 6-0 lead early on as their international players – such as American Catherine Carr (13 points, 6 assists) and Austrian Julia Köppl (10 points, 6 rebounds) – proved to be efficient for their team. Pride’s captain and top scorer of the game, Hannah Robb (21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists), responded with a three-pointer four minutes into the game. She then followed the offence up with a layup to cut the deficit to one within the first five minutes.

Suns’ momentum continued as a foul from Hansine Marshall sent Hungarian international Judit Fritz (15 points) to the line, where she converted two from two. Robb hit a jump shot but from then on Suns went on an onslaught with a 13-point run which was kicked off by a big three-pointer from Fritz. The likes of Ta’yani Clark (9 rebounds) and Carr proceeded to exchange back-and-forth offences between each other to further extended Sevenoaks’ lead. Pollyanna Storie (9 points) brought Pride within 12 at the end of the first. 21-9.

Jenna Beattie secured an early bucket for Pride in the second, as the visitors attempted to stop the hot streak of Fritz and company. GB International Janice Monakana (10 points) began to make an impact for the Suns as she made a trio of baskets. Consistent offences from Carr, Ijeoma Ofomata and Irene Garrido-Perez meant that Sevenoaks extended their lead to over 20 points.

A foul from Carr sent Sian Phillips to the line and she made both as half-time drew closer. Suns continued to persist on offence, with several baskets dropping to build a 26-point lead going into halftime. 43-17.

Robb started the second half with a layup, only for Sevenoaks to showcase their scoring capabilities from across the board, extending their lead to over 30 points. After being punished on offence, Robb was fired up as she hit a big three-pointer with 15 minutes left to play.

Despite the best efforts from Robb, the Sevenoaks offence was barely halted as Köppl and Fritz continued to progress their team forward. Pride went on another five-point run in the closing minutes of the third, as Stella Fouraki nailed a jump shot and Storie followed it up with a three-pointer. However, Monakana made sure she ended the quarter with a statement, putting Sevenoaks up by 28. 57-29.

Suns’ rhythm continued into the fourth as Carr and Asha Andrews made back-to-back three-pointers. Ofomata, Carr and Hunt once again demonstrated the consistency of the Suns as their offensive prowess remained present despite replies from Beattie and Storie. Andrews made another statement with a second emphatic three-pointer that gave Suns a lead over 40 points lead with five minutes left of the game.

Much like the first five minutes, the last five minutes of play was low scoring. Köppl and Ofomata continued to forge ahead for Suns whilst Storie remained composed from the line, nailing both after being fouled by Monakana. Robb made sure that Pride secured the final few offences of the game as made a three-pointer to begin with and then followed it up with a layup, two free throws and a step back jump shot. Despite this last-ditch effort from the captain, Suns claimed the 34-point win in Kent. 78-44.