A strong second half saw Lions complete a perfect WBBL regular season with a 90-79 victory at Sevenoaks Suns, on Sunday evening.
Mark Clark’s side had won the league with a big home victory against Essex Rebels on Friday evening but faced the rarity of trailing at half-time before outscoring the hosts by double-digits in each of the third and fourth periods.
The result meant that London finished with a 24-0 league record and extended a domestic winning run that goes back to last season to 34 games.
Jo Leedham led the visitors with an impressive 16 point, ten assist double-double, adding seven rebounds and three steals. Shanice Beckford-Norton finished with 17 points and four rebounds while Azania Stewart needed only nine shots to finish with 15 points, adding four boards. Holly Winterburn (12) and Cassie Breen (10) also finished in double figures while Shequila Joseph added nine rebounds to her eight points.
Janie Monakana recorded a 24 point, 12 rebound double-double for league runners-up Suns but reigning WBBL MVP Cat Carr needed 20 shots to get 14 points, adding eight assists and six rebounds.
Back-to-back Stewart baskets saw Lions take an early 6-2 lead, and the GB Olympian drove to the hoop to put the visitors 10-9 up midway through the first period.
A 7-0 run capped by Renee Busch saw Suns take a 16-10 lead but Beckford-Norton hit a triple and Leedham wrapped a 9-0 tear up to give London a 19-16 lead at the first break.
Beckford-Norton extended that run with the opening score of the second period, but it proved to be one of the toughest quarters of the season for Clark’s team as they were outscored 27-17.
Beckford-Norton and Busch exchanged triples to tie the game at 24 but Suns led by ten heading into the final minute of the game before Beckford-Norton hit four straight free-throws and Leedham drove to the basket to cut Suns’ lead to 43-36 at half-time.
Koppl’s jump shot extended Sevenoaks’ lead to nine with the opening score of the second half before Stewart hit five straight points and Winterburn sunk a triple to cut the deficit to 47-44 with 7:33 on the clock.
Kennedy Leonard’s triple kept Lions in touch before the Scottish international hit a jump shot to make it a one-point game going into the last three minutes of the quarter. Breen hit a triple to give them the lead before Joseph hit five straight points to send the visitors into the final break 65-62 ahead.
Lions were now clearly in control and triples from Leedham and Breen made it a nine-point game after two fourth period minutes and although Monakana converted a three-point play, driving lay-ups from Leedham and Breen took the lead out to ten.
A pair of baskets from Winterburn extended the lead to 14 with five minutes remaining. Winterburn scored from the Land of Plenty and although Carr made it a ten point game with 2:40 on the clock, forcing a Clark timeout, three point plays from Leedham and Beckford-Norton wrapped a perfect league season for the Lions.