London Lions
Leicester Riders

London Lions Stifling Defence & High IQ Offence Obliterate Leicester Riders 95-42.

Player of the Game Holly Winterburn Erupts for 16-Point, 9-Assist Performance to Bury Former Team & Win WBBL Cup

A mere eight days after celebrating their 50th straight WBBL regular season win, the London Lions women’s team brought that same dominant energy to the 2023 WBBL Final to claim their first title of the season. High IQ sniper Katsiaryna Snytsina opened the Lions' account with a triple and followed it up a few minutes later with another to give the Lions a 6-3 lead.

Player of the game, Holly Winterburn's stellar 16-point performance helped to bury her former one-time employers. The skilled point guard cooked the Russell Levenston-owned team connecting on all five of her buckets in the paint and two long-range bombs from beyond the 3-point line. Winterburn continued her tyranny on the East-Midlanders, orchestrating the London offence to the tune of nine assists to go with her five rebounds and one steal.

Player of the Game, Holly Winterburn

Snytsina’s high IQ tyranny continued as she hit “Kiki” Herbert Harrigan with a quarterback assist, catching the Riders' sleepy defence off guard. The Belarusian Olympian followed that with a steal and a dime to 2-way guard, Taylor Murray. 

Refusing to rely on their offensive morales, the Lions' lockdown defence stifled the Rider’s offence, play after play, action after action, to the tune of six steals and two blocks. By the sixth steal in the first quarter, the Lions held a commanding 22-15 advantage over the Riders. Shanice capped off an excellent first quarter for the Lions with a triple to give the Londoners a 24-15 advantage going into the second quarter.

WBBL Cup Champs: Chantel Charles, Shequila Joseph & Azania Stewart

Snytsina continued to reap hell on the Riders knocking down a mid-range followed by a triple as part of the Lions' 10-2 run to open the second quarter. This helped to extend the Lions' advantage to 34-17 after a little over three minutes into the period. 

Taylor Murray continued to prove that she’s the best on-ball defender in the WBBL, grabbing three steals from the hands and pockets of Hannah Robb and Oliana Squires, whom she terrorised for most of the second period. The Lions had built a 22-point, 48-26 lead with her third steal and subsequent fast-break layup.

Azania Stewart opened the third quarter with a confidence-breaking block on Riders’ center Ashley Arlen at the top of the key. This defensive play seemed to have lived rent-free in the heads of the Riders' players as they attempted more mid-range shots knowing they couldn’t get to the rim. As a result, the Riders could only muster up nine points versus the Lions' mighty 25.

The fourth quarter saw the Riders' offensive efficiency worsen as the Lions locked them down to just seven points. Murray, Paige Robinson and Winterburn shared the rock, which helped the Lions produce 22 total points, highlighted by Kiki’s end-of-quarter triple, crowning them the 2023 WBBL Cup Champions.

Captain Shanice Beckford-Norton, Katsiaryna Snytsina, Kiki Herbert Harrigan, Paige Robinson & Paulina Hersler

2-Way forward, “Kiki” Herbert Harrigan lit up the Leicestershire squad from long distance, knocking down three of her four attempts from 3-point range en route to 19 points. But “Kiki” didn’t stop there, grabbing six rebounds and smothering and cancelling out the Riders’ offence with two blocks and two steals. 

Legendary EuroCup Women’s sniper Katsiaryna Snytsina buried a game-high four 3-pointers on her way to collecting 14 points, which she complimented with three assists and two steals. Taylor Murray, the unlocked missing piece in Head Coach Mark Clark’s three-guard (starting) lineup, grabbed a game-high three steals to go with five assists, two rebounds and 12 points. 

The 2023 WBBL Champions!
Head Coach Mark Clark & Leslie Vorpahl

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