London Lions Overwhelm Cardiff 55-104 to Book Ticket to the WBBL Trophy Semi-Finals. Leslie Vorpahl and Paulina Hersler Erupt for a Combined 38 Points & 13 Rebounds Off the Bench.
Back in formation after the recent FIBA EuroBasket qualifier window, the London Lions travelled 188 miles to Cardiff looking to continue their historic domestic run. With their eyes firmly on the prize, the Londoners refused to allow their shortened rotation to hamper them during the game.
The Lions came out of the blocks cooking to the tune of a 0-17 surge, executing well-orchestrated offensive actions. FIBA EuroCup legend Katsiaryna Snytsina got things off to a great start when she connected from long-range off an assist from Shanice Beckford-Norton. The sniper continued her excellent shooting form with another triple to put the Lions up 0-10.
Swedish national player Paulina Hersler and Team GB staple Shequila Joseph joined the scoring run, only for Cardiff center Mara Marchizotti to momentarily end it with the Archers' first bucket of the game (2-17). Unnerved, 2-way tyrant Taylor Murray sparked the Lions' second scoring surge with a triple, an opportunity provided to her via Joseph’s offensive rebound.
The second scoring surge, which lasted until the end of the period, was powered by London’s lockdown defence, ultimately contributing to Cardiff’s poor shooting and poor ball handling. The Archers missed seven shots and turned the ball over five times while London went on their 0-16 run to end the quarter (2-33).
Although Cardiff’s shooting efficiency picked up in the second period, their defence continued to flounder under the sheer might of the Lions’ offence. In Total, the Wales-based outfit scored 18 points but conceded 19 during the period. Skipper Shanice Beckford-Norton was one of the primary beneficiaries of London’s free-flowing play, recording six of her 19 points in the quarter.
The Lions’ walked into the third quarter with a 32-point lead (20-52) and continued to heap misery on the Welsh defence. However, their 21-point collective performance was dampened somewhat as they conceded 24 points. This didn’t trouble their overall scoreline, but visibly the Londoners, who pride themselves on defence, weren’t too chuffed going into the end of the quarter break.
London took out their frustrations on Cardiff in the fourth quarter. With their tightened defence, the Archers could only muster 11 points from their disjointed offence. However, on the other side of the ball, London turned the heat up, scoring 31 massive points via 0-11 and 0-14 scoring runs. Beckford-Norton ended the quarter and their six-point scoring surge with a triple.