A depleted London Lions team continued their unbeaten WBBL season with a 100-45 victory at Newcastle Eagles, on Saturday.
Mark Clark’s team did most of the damage in the first half as they built on their 23-9 first break lead to effectively sew the game up at 56-18 going into the locker room.
Jo Leedham-Warner led the way for Lions, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists, draining five three-pointers. Kennedy Leonard finished with 18 points, eight assists and six boards while Azania Stewart had eight rebounds to go with her 16 points. Cassie Breen matched her season average with 15 points for a Lions team who had only eight players in kit. Ebony Horton was the only Eagle in double figures with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists as Lions dominated on the board, out-rebounding the hosts 49-35 and dishing out an impressive 34 assists.
Clark was a happy man after the win: “It was the reaction we wanted after losing in the Czech Republic” he said. “The size of the win wasn’t because they’re a bad team, we played really well against a good side. We didn’t get sloppy in the second half, we kept playing well and I’m really happy with the performance.
“It was good to get some minutes into Jo. By her own admission she didn’t play well in the Czech Republic, but she got back in the groove and it was great to see how she bounced back.”
Lions blitzed the hosts from downtown in the opening minutes with Leedham-Warner hitting a pair and Shanice Beckford-Norton and Breen also hitting triples before Stewart’s driving lay-up made it 14-2 with six minutes gone.
Leedham-Warner hit her third trey of the game before Stewart gave London a 14-point lead at the first break but after former Lion Abbey Lowe had hit a three early in the second period, the visitors turned the screw as Eagles were held scoreless in the final six minutes.
Leonard hit five points to put the visitors up by 20 , and Charles hit the final five points of the half as Lions took a 38 point lead into the locker room.
With the game effectively already in garbage time, Leonard opened the second half scoring as Lions edged the third period 18-15 to lead 74-33 at the final break and it was Leedham-Warner’s driving lay-up that brought up the century as London won the fourth period 26-12 to wrap up their sixth straight league win.