Cardiff Met Archers 58-108 Ipswich Basketball
WNBL Division 1
Archers Arena, Cardiff
Ipswich Basketball racked up their biggest win of the WNBL Division 1 season with a comprehensive victory over hosts Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday.
Having made the longest journey of their season, Ipswich were determined to come away with a victory but Cardiff, who entered the contest at the foot of Division 1 and coming off two losses in three days, put up a spirited early performance.
Behind an impressive shooting performance from guard Denisa Molnar, the hosts stayed close throughout the first half and trailed by just twelve points at half time, before being blown away by an offensive onslaught from Ipswich in the third quarter.
Coming out of half time with a 45-33 lead, Ipswich edged their lead out to 14 at 58-44 behind early three-pointers from Harriet Welham and Danielle Cazey. The visitors then embarked on a 30-0 scoring run to put the game firmly beyond Cardiff’s reach. Welham, Cazey and Esther Little got the run started, but Ipswich’s bench chipped in too, with Susannah Rafiu and Alice Fallon scoring seven points apiece during the scoring spree.
Cardiff recovered their composure to get back to competitiveness in the fourth quarter, but Ipswich continued to extend their advantage and the lead would stretch as far as 52 points.
Welham capped off an outstanding 41-point, 11-rebound performance in the closing stages. Little once again dominated the backboards with 14 rebounds and eight assists, while Rafiu (14) and Fallon (11) both registered double-digit points as part of Ipswich’s season-high 41 bench points.
“The major highlights today were our offense,” said a pleased Head Coach Nick Drane. “Harriet showed her touch from behind the three-point line, which has been missing at times this year, and our bench were outstanding today.”
The win maintains Ipswich’s status as league leaders following another win for City of London Academy, who travelled to Cardiff on Thursday in a 33-point win before comfortably beating Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday. Cardiff’s other game, at home to Worcester Wolves on Saturday, saw the Welsh side come close to a second win of the year before ultimately losing in overtime.
Elsewhere, there was a surprising slip-up for Loughborough Riders, who were unable to overcome foul trouble to star player Makana Stone as they lost at Reading Rockets. The Rockets made it a two-win weekend when they held off a spirited Barking Abbey on Sunday.
Ipswich are back in home action this weekend (Saturday, 1pm tip) as they host Worcester Wolves.