Saturday, April 08, 2017
Manchester Mystics have strengthened their position in second in the WBBL Championship, and maintained the pressure on Nottingham Wildcats at the top, with an 85-72 home win over Team Northumbria on Saturday.
They were led by sparkling performances from Amy Browne and Georgia Jones, who shared 10 three-pointers on 59% shooting. Jones, the league leader in assists, scored 21 points, with eight rebounds and eight assists; while Browne had 19 points, with seven boards and six assists.
After a tight first quarter, edged by Mystics, in which Browne and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee were in a shootout with 11 points each, the teams traded runs in an amazing second stanza.
The hosts led by double-figures, initially, as Sierra Schwellenbach scored two three-pointers in an 8-2 push for a 38-28 lead. But that was turned on its head when Kara Bonenberger’s eight points led Northumbria on a 14-3 run, started and ended with Alison Gorrell three-pointers, to put the visitors up 46-43 at the break, shooting 5/6 from long range.
But Mystics are still in with a shot of the WBBL Championship title, and showed their credentials immediately after the break as they levelled on Jones’s triple, and took the lead when she connected from beyond the arc twice more in quick succession. That surge became 17-2, with Rheanne Bailey adding the last five, to put Manchester up 62-50.
When Browne scored another three-pointer, her fifth of the game, Mystics had enjoyed a 26-7 spell over eight third quarter minutes, with six triples, and the game was all-but settled.
They maintained their double-digit advantage throughout the fourth, after Dominique Allen opened it with two quick baskets. And Mystics have now won four in a row, with this first ever WBBL Championship home win over Team Northumbria also giving them the head-to-head between the teams for the first time in three seasons.
Report by WBBL