WNBL Division One
Cardiff Met Archers 80 – Ipswich Basketball 86
Ipswich fought back from a fourteen point deficit early in the second quarter to record a huge win on the road in Wales.
Ipswich were looking for a big performance after ending CoLA’s unbeaten run, and then falling to eighth placed Bristol last weekend.
Cardiff started the better of the two teams and took a 19-12 lead into the break at the end of the first quarter, and extended this lead to 29-15 with five minutes left in the half, but following a timeout, Ipswich went on a 15-3 run to finish the half and take the momentum into the interval. For Ipswich it was a balanced attack, with Saruna Gudza leading the way with ten points.
The third quarter saw Cardiff start with six unanswered points, taking things to a 37-30 advantage for the Welsh outfit, before another momentum swing, led by the Ipswich bench, and long range efforts from Hannah Gray, Ava Battese and Liv Forster as the Suffolk side finally seized the lead.
The fourth looked like Ipswich had taken control of the game, leading by six with just 24 seconds to go, but a pair of huge three point shots, one with just two seconds on the clock from Cardiff's young star Isobel Bunyon, forced overtime.
The extra period saw Ipswich regain their control, showing great poise after Cardiff's late game heroics to force the extra period. The league champions went on to close out a thrilling encounter 86-80 in an instant classic.
“This was a huge win, especially after the Bristol loss. We all took that loss hard after beating the best team in the league (CoLA) the day before, so to bounce back shows great character. Cardiff's record doesn’t do them justice - they can beat anyone in this league and have some exciting young players and an outstanding leader in Amber Deane” said Ipswich Coach Nick Drane. Drane added “Its been a crazy time for our team and I can’t thank the staff enough for stepping up and having my back so I would just like to make a public, Thanks Josh and Thanks Amy”.
Ipswich were led by Liv Forster’s 26, while Saruna Gudza had a huge 23/9/7 performance. Ava Battese added nineteen and Cameron Taylor-Willis and Yassin Belle-Mbaye combined for 32 rebounds.
Cardiff were paced by the outstanding Bunyon, who made seven threes on her way to a game high 31.
Ipswich host Worcester next Saturday as they aim to move to 10-4 on the season.