Match Report: Lions Women vs Zaibny Brno

It was a night to forget for London Lions as they suffered a 68-41 loss at Zaibny Brno is the FIBA EuroCup Women.

Mark Clark’s side never recovered from a disastrous first period which saw them outscored 23-5 and the London coach was clearly upset with the result:

“Obviously we’re disappointed but congratulations to Brno as defensively they were excellent and really did take us out of what we wanted to run” he said.

“In that first quarter, we were happy with the shot sections and the looks we got but in common with the Kelton game we didn’t finish plays and didn’t score when we needed to score. "
“In the end we damage limited and kept them to 68 which I’m pleased about, We’ll look at tomorrow result between Keltern and Castor Braine and we’ll see what happens. But it does mean we’ll have to go to Casters Braine and win to get at least third although there’s still a chance we can finish second. But over-all we’re disappointed to have dug ourselves a hole early and we couldn’t get out of it

As Clark says, the defeat leaves Lions needing a win at Castors Braine in their final regular season game next week to maintain a realistic chance of progressing to the knockout stage.

Captain Shanice Beckford-Norton was the only Lion in double with 13 points and four rebounds in just under 26 minutes before fouling out, while Jo Warner=Leedham had 11 boards to go with her seven points. Natalie Stoupalova and Petra Zaplatova  led the Czech side with 14 points apiece, with the former adding ten rebounds.

The game’s shooting percentage provides the key to the game with the hosts shooting 40 percent both inside outside the three-point arc while Lions hit 25 percent of their attempts, converting only three-from-20 of their three-point efforts.

American Bria Holmes opened the scoring for the hosts as they scored the first eight points before Warner-Leedham broke the drought. Brno replied with another seven straight point, finally ended by an Azania Stewart and-one as London reached the first break with an 18-point deficit.

The second period proved to be more positive for Lions as they outscored the hosts by a point, with Kennedy Leonard opening the scoring before Norton grabbed a rebound before providing the assist for Steph Umeh to keep the scoreboard moving.

Norton kept Lions in touch, with her third basket of the period getting the deficit down to 31-15 with 5:31 left in the half before Warner-Leedham hit a trey off Leonard’s assist to make it a 15-point game heading into the final two minutes.

Brno took a 41-24 lead into the locker room, but although Norton opened the third period scoring the home side ended the game as a contest with a 16-5 quarter to lead 57-29 at the final break.

Lions did win a low-scoring final period 12-11, with Chantel Charles hitting a trey off Warner-Leedham’s assist but they will travel to Belgium on Wednesday knowing a win is vital to progress in the competition.