CoLA Southwark Pride 77-81 Ipswich Basketball Club
WNBL Division I
City of London Academy, Southwark
Ipswich Basketball survived their toughest test of the season so far, as they finally secured victory over hosts Southwark Pride in overtime on Sunday.
Unlike Ipswich’s previous appearances this season, it was the hosts who started the strongest, and Pride bounced out to an early 10-0 lead, forcing turnovers and scoring on the fast break.
Ipswich found their fee to start the second quarter, however, and mounted a comeback behind the scoring of Harriet Welham, who had 20 points by half time. The visitors out-scored the Pride by 11 points in the second to take a 42-34 lead into the break.
Although Ipswich had found their scoring touch, the visitors continued to turn the ball over, and this combined with the outstanding offensive rebounding of Pride forward Isi Ozzy-Momodu offered the hosts a route back into the game. Behind another quick run out of half time, Southwark quickly drew themselves back within one possession.
Ipswich would maintain a slender lead through most of the fourth quarter, and eventually eked out a seven-point advantage, but Southwark managed to hold the league leaders scoreless for the last five minutes of regulation, and tied the game up behind five points from captain Simona Henshaw.
That took the game into an extra period, and after Cameron Taylor-Willis cancelled out Molly Lavin’s early score, Esther Little blocked Emily Connell’s lay-up attempt then scored at the other end to give Ipswich the lead for good.
Southwark had a chance to tie or win the game in the final possession, but a huge steal and save by Charlotte Redhead found Little, who sealed the game at the free throw line.
Welham wound up with 34 points and 13 rebounds, while Little recorded another impressive stat line of 16 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists and seven blocks.
“They say a sign of a good team is if they can win when they play badly,” said Head Coach Nick Drane. “We certainly weren’t at our best today, but we dug it out and got the win against a team that I think will be right there at the end of the season.”
“We made some key shots in key moments, with players stepping up.
“We are pleased with our start overall, but we know we need to get better.”