Cazey's 31 points leads Ipswich in bounce back win

IPSWICH BASKETBALL 94-72 THAMES VALLEY CAVALIERS

WNBL DIVISION 1

COPLESTON SPORTS CENTRE

Four players scored in double-figures and two registered triple-double performances for Ipswich Basketball as they returned to winning ways with an impressive performance on Saturday.

The league leaders entered the game coming off just their second loss of the season following last weekend’s surprise defeat to Nottingham Trent University, but an outstanding all-round performance and some key contributions from the bench ensured that outcome would not be repeated.

Esther Little turned in a stellar all-round performance, going close to a remarkable quadruple-double with 11 points, 20 rebounds, 11 assists and eight blocks. Harriet Welham finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Esther Little had a monster triple double (Photo: Pavel Kricka)

It was Danielle Cazey and Cameron Taylor-Willis, however, who led the offense with Cazey scoring 17 of her game-high 31 in the first quarter as Ipswich appeared to break the game open, 28-15.

The Cavaliers’ offensive powerhouse, American Katherine Goldsby, led a fightback of sorts by the visitors as she scored 12 straight points to bring the game back to a nine-point gap in the second quarter, but four points from Taylor-Willis sparked a run from Ipswich to boost the gap to 18 at half time, 46-28.

That pattern continued in the second half. Goldsby was limited by outstanding defense from Ella Pearson in the third quarter, but the visitors found offense through Vivian Moyo and Eleanor Bishop to keep the game competitive.

Ipswich would stretch their lead to as many as 33 midway through the final period, allowing coach Nick Drane to give extensive minutes to his bench players. Millie Pearson made the most of her appearance, racking up seven points and eight rebounds in under 12 minutes.

Millie Pearson had a big impact with the lead in hand, getting to share the court with sister Ella (Photo: Pavel Kricka)

“It’s always tough on the girls who don’t get as much chance to play, so as a coach I always value the opportunity to get everyone into the game,” said Drane after the game. “Some of our girls have had their basketball opportunities cut in three this year by the loss of the academy and under-18 leagues. The irony is that we were short-handed today missing two players through injury.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance and the reaction from last week’s loss.”

Ipswich are on the road this weekend as they travel to a struggling Cardiff Met Archers. The Archers, who were in action this weekend as they lost at Barking Abbey, are working hard to make up for lost time due to having been under the separate effects of the Welsh lockdown, and have three games this weekend as they host City of London Academy on Thursday and Worcester Wolves on Saturday.

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