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Browne guides Mystics to fourth straight win

  Saturday, October 29, 2016

Australian forward Amy Browne poured in 24 points as Manchester Mystics defeated Caledonia Pride for the second time in a month, this time recording a 77-52 victory to move up to third place in the WBBL table.

Browne was her side's most consistent offensive threat throughout the game, scoring regularly inside and connecting on her trademark baseline jumper on several occasions, as well as showing some range with a couple of three-pointers. 

Also potent from distance was Georgia Jones, who scored 11 of her 17 points in the second quarter, including three scores from behind the arc.  This stellar shooting – combined with some sloppy turnovers by Caledonia – allowed Mystics to pull out to a 42-35 half-time lead.

Mystics had struggled to handle the energy and organisation of their visitors from Scotland in the early stages, but Jones and Great Britain team-mate Dominique Allen got into their pick-and-roll game to tip the balance back towards the home side during the second quarter.

After the break, Mystics showed renewed aggression, crashing the offensive glass through Nicola Welling and Jo Clayden, and frequently finding Browne in scoring positions to extend their advantage to 60-45 by the end of the third period.

Their work on the boards was an important factor to counter the stand-out performer from their opponents, as Pride’s centre Tricia Oakes made a major impact in the paint, scoring 13 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking six shots.

However, Caledonia only managed seven points in a tired-looking final quarter, while Allen and Rheanne Bailey made some classy plays to keep the score ticking over and help Manchester to their fourth straight win in all competitions.

Coach Jeff Jones commented: “We made it harder than it needed to be. We’ve had some easier games in the sense that we haven’t had to play as well, but I thought we played better from the second quarter into the third.

“We did a decent job. It’s a growing process. The younger girls have to get used to winning they have to get used to accepting responsibility when they’re on the floor.”

Jones is aware that more difficult challenges lay ahead, with five games against tough opponents remaining this calendar year, beginning with the Cup quarter-final at Barking Abbey next weekend.

“We’re going to have to get our butts in gear," he added. "It’s about concentration, it’s about intensity and it’s continuing to play for 40 minutes."

Mystics now have a 3-1 record in the WBBL and their next home game will be against currently unbeaten Nottingham Wildcats on Saturday, 12th November at the National Basketball Performance Centre in Belle Vue.

Report by Graeme Roberts

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