Revenge Game Satisfaction as “Kiki” Herbert-Harrigan Drops 20 Points Whilst Kennedy Leonard & Holly Winterburn Combine for 18 Huge Assists in Staple 67-60 Home Court Victory.
Almost 30 days after losing their first FIBA Euro Cup Women's game of the season to Villeneuve d'Ascq, the London Lions exacted their revenge with a 67-60 victory against their French rivals.
The low-scoring affair got off to a shaky start, with neither team scoring until the 9:09 mark in the 1st quarter when Katsiaryna Snytsina committed a foul, sending Villeneuve’s Kennedy Burke to the line. The Lions' scoring struggles continued until the 8:04 mark when Ty Battle made a layup off Holly Winterburn’s sweet precision dime from beyond the 3-point line.
Neither team allowed their opponent to forge ahead with any substantial lead in the early going. When Villeneuve led 6-8, the Lions tied the game via Shequila Joseph’s acute pocket bounce pass to Azania Stewart. When the Lions took a 10-8 lead, Villeneuve’s Hind Ben Abdelkader returned fire with a 3-point make.
Not long after Kennedy Leonard’s “David vs Goliath” block against Kamiah Smalls, Villeneuve’s Maia Hirsch pulled the Northern France-based team within 1-point of the Lions' lead.
The second quarter was yet another low-scoring period. Only two 3-pointers were made during the 10-minute duration, and they were by Villeneuve’s Kennedy Burke and Caroline Heriaud. On the other hand, the Lions missed all four of their 3-point attempts.
Villeneuve went into halftime with a slender 3-point 27-30 lead, which the Lions tore into after the break. Tightened defensive efforts allowed the Lions to stagnate Villeneuve d'Ascq’s offence, causing their French rivals to score just 11-points in the period. However, better ball movement on the other side of the ball opened up the floor for the Lions to the tune of 17 points.
The Lions topped their 17-point scoring effort with a 23-point scoring effort in the 4th quarter. This scoring push was highlighted by Snytsina, and Winterburn's 3-point makes, and Kennedy Leonard’s clutch free throw shots to sustain the Lions' lead and eventually ice the game.
The Lions' hard-fought and physical win, against the current top 5 LFB side, was led by 3-level Euro Cup scorer, “Kiki” Herbert-Harrigan, who aligned her 20-point effort with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks whilst shooting 60% from the floor.
Dynamic ballhandlers Holly Winterburn and Kennedy Leonard shared the rock to the tune of 9 assists each and contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively, both just missing out on a double-double stat line. Winterburn was also a menace on the other side of the ball, grabbing 3 steals to go along with her 6 defensive rebounds.
Katsiaryna Snytsina exacted her very own tyranny on the defensive end with a team-leading 4 steals and 5 defensive rebounds to go with her 10-point effort. Although Snytsina and Winterburn led Lions in steals, Azania Stewart, “Kiki,” Leonard and Shequila Joseph picked up a steal each.
The Lions improve to a 3-1 record and sit firmly in second place in Group J.
Their next FIBA Euro Cup Women's game is on Wednesday, 7th December 2022, against La Roche Vendee.