London Lions Vs Villeneuve D'ascq: The Ultimate Game Two Preview
Last week, in front of the phenomenally loud and supportive home faithful, dubbed ‘The Pride,’ the London Lions beat Villeneuve D'ascq 77-71 in Game One of their first-round playoff game.
Battle-ready “Kiki” Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan led the charge with a stellar 21-point, 6-rebound, 6-assist, 2-steal and 1-block display. Legendary FIBA EuroCup Women’s sniper Katsiaryna Snytsina hit three 3-pointers en route to 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal. Skilled playmaker Holly Winterburn just missed out on a double-double, contributing 11 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals to the Lions’ cause.
However, the fast-approaching showdown is a new day. The Londoners hold a six-point lead over ESBVA. They now have to travel to Le Palacium, in Northern France, and do what no other women’s British Basketball team has ever done, qualify for the last 16 of the FIBA EuroCup.
In October, the capital city representatives lost their opening game of the FIBA EuroCup season 59-80 away to Villeneuve D'ascq. However, they were without their 6’3” Swedish center, Paulina Hersler, who returned to the side last week and put up an impressive stat line of 8 points, two rebounds and one dime in just 14 minutes.
Two days later, Hersler followed that up with an excellent 25-point, 3-rebounds, 2-assists, 1-steal performance against the Brent Bulls in the WBBL Trophy, in her first start of the season. Expect Paulina Hersler to play big minutes in Game Two against ESBVA and again assist the team with their points and rebounding production.
In Game One, coach Mark Clark started Taylor Murray in place of Kennedy Leonard, and she repaid the coach’s faith in her with a 13-point effort, shooting 71.5% from the paint. She complimented her points production with three assists, helping Holly Winterburn to orchestrate the Lions' offence.
Do Not Sleep on the Bench Mob!
On Saturday, forward Shequila Joseph contributed 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block to the Lions dominating win over the Brent Bulls. Joseph displayed her highly underrated 3-level scoring skills sinking shots in the paint, from mid-range and beyond the 3-point line. The GB national player shot efficiently from the field, hitting 60% of 2-point shots and 40% of her 3-point attempts.
2-way forward Ty Battle came off the bench in Game One, contributing 4 points and two vital steals to help the Lions snatch the victory. Expect the former Delaware Blue Hen and 2020-21 CAA All-Defensive Team select to provide more help and leadership on the defensive end of the ball.