London Lions

Coach Styliani Kaltsidou’s side swept past GDESSA-Barreiro to remain unbeaten in this season’s EuroCup Women campaign.

Former WNBA champion Temi Fagbenle continued her dominance in Europe by putting up an authorative 26 points alongside nine rebounds and five assists.

After three straight road wins in Europe, the London Lions were welcomed back to the Copper Box for their EuroCup Women home opener. The defending Women’s British Basketball League champions have started the season on fire, winning all their previous games by significant margins.

Their Portuguese opponents flew to London with their sights set on upsetting the odds. However, GDESSA began the game slowly whilst the hosts quickly kicked off proceedings with 10 unanswered points.

The visitors then went on an 8-0 run, which was later ended by a trademark Karlie Samuelson three-pointer which allowed her team to regain momentum.

The American had 11 points in the first quarter, scoring three of the four three-pointers she attempted. The Lions scored 28 points in the opening 10 minutes but took their foot a tad off the gas as the game rolled into the second quarter.

There was a slow start to the action in the first five minutes of the quarter with just 12 points scored between the two teams. Eventually, the hosts regained focus as Ivana Katanić converted two tough buckets for her side. 

Juicy Landrum and Karlie Samuelson later added extra points towards their team’s total as the British side took a comfortable 15-point lead into the halftime break.

Although there was less offensive intensity from this point onwards, London looked excellent on defense. GDESSA were limited to just 28 first half points with a tough task ahead of them in the remaining 20 minutes.

As Samuelson entered foul trouble early in the third quarter, the Lions began to coast towards the finish line. Their opponents made just two three-pointers in the entire game and struggled to find their shot in East London.

From here, Temi Fagbenle asserted her dominance by making a series of close-range shots. The GB international was one of the best players on the court – showcasing her quality with each and every possession.

As the curtains closed at the Copper Box, it was evident that the Lions had too much quality for GDESSA to come close to the early lead that they had established.

After adding an extra victory to their impressive EuroCup Women account, the Lions will look ahead to an international break before resuming to league action in Newcastle on November 18th.

Watch the full game here.

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