London Lions
Durham Palatinates

The London Lions Power Past the Durham Palatinates in the 4th Quarter to Record Regular Season-Ending Victory.

Player of the Game Ty Battle Claims Her Second Double-Double of the Season with an 18-Point & 11-Rebound Performance, to go with Her WBBL Career High, 6 Steals.

Not every final basketball result tells the whole story, and the Lions' 93-65 win over the Durham Palatinates is yet another example of that. Many who assume the Lions dominated the game would be startled to discover a mere four-point gap at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

With everything to win (I.e., a spot in the playoffs) and everything to lose, the North-East based outfit drew first blood in the first quarter and refused to cower under the bevvy of London’s attacks. 

After Durham’s Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby closed the gap to two points (10-8), a mid-range jump shot from Taylor Marray and a much-needed triple from Katsiaryna Snytsina extended the lead out to five points (15-10). However, Durham remained undeterred and continued to punch back, cutting the deficit to four points (19-15).  

London returned fire with a 5-0 jolt, pushing the margin to nine points with 90 seconds left on the clock. But an errant foul call on Shanice Beckford-Norton sent Eliza Brault to the line, which Jessica Wayne followed with a layup, slashing the London advantage to five points going into the second period. 

Shortly after Chantel Charles opened up the second quarter account for the Lions, the Palatinates went on a momentum-changing 0-6 run cutting the London lead to one point (26-25). Although Durham eventually tied the game (30-30) two minutes later, the Lions kept them at bay (momentarily) with their own 6-0 run (36-30).

To the chagrin of Lions fans, Durham replied with a 0-7 run, allowing them to take a one-point lead with 51 seconds left on the clock. But the Durham lead was short-lived as Shequila Joseph snatched the advantage back with a near-quarter-ending triple (39-37). 

The third quarter saw the teams continue to tussle for the lead but fail to establish more than a five-point margin. A back-and-forth in the early going resulted in a tied score (44-44) before the Lions pushed ahead with a 6-0 run (50-44). Durham, once again, refused to back down and fought back to take the lead following Brault’s triple (52-54). However, the Lions ended the period on a momentum-shifting 6-0 run to give them a 58-54 advantage going into the fourth quarter. 

Durham’s defence finally broke in the fourth period, succumbing to a 13-0 charge that widened the deficit to 17 points (71-54). London’s lockdown defence wouldn’t allow their North-East opponents to record a point from open play until the last one minute and 12 seconds in the quarter. By that time, the Lions held a 24-point advantage (86-62) that Durham had little time to come back from. Winterburn put the icing on the cake with two makes from the free throw line to close out the game.

Player of the Game Ty Battle recorded her second double-double of the season with an 18-point, 11-rebound performance with two assists, two blocks and her WBBL career high of six steals. The Low-post specialist achieved most of her points in the paint, shooting 69% within the 2-point arc 

Taylor Murray equalled her WBBL career-high points, scoring 15 of the starter's 55 points. The 2-Way guard had an efficient afternoon of shooting, connecting on 75% of her attempts from the field and 100% of her attempts from long-range (1/1) and from the free throw line (2/2). 

Sharpshooter Katsiaryna Snytsina sunk four triples en route to 12 points, which she complimented with five rebounds, eight assists and one steal. Vet Azania Stewart grabbed eight rebounds and one steal, dished out two assists, blocked two shots and scored eight points in the last-ever regular season game of her long and illustrious career. 

Leslie Vorpahl led the bench mob with 15 points to go with five assists, two steals and one rebound. The proud Texas native achieved her points on 55/33/80 shooting splits. Chantel Charles led the bench with seven rebounds, complemented by one assist and six points.

Captain Shanice Beckford-Norton supported her comrades with seven points, two steals, two assists and one rebound. Shequila Joseph had four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block to go with her six points.

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