WNBL DIVISION ONE
Ipswich Basketball 100 Nottingham Trent 97
Ipswich survived a late surge from Nottingham to move to 4-2 in WNBL Division One, despite not being quite at their best on Saturday.
Nottingham arrived in Ipswich still in search of their first win of the season, while Ipswich came into the game having lost by just two points the previous week to league leading Solent Kestrels.The game seemed to be played with a degree of inevitability, with the Ipswich crowd expecting a home win. However, when looking closer at the Nottingham record it becomes evident that they are a more than competitive team at the Division One level. The schedule has not been kind to them in the opening quarter of the season, with games against three of the top four teams in the division.
Ipswich looked to be in control throughout the game, holding a double figure lead for the majority of the game, Nottingham wouldn’t go away quietly but every time the visitors got within single digits it seemed that Ipswich, led as ever by the dynamic play of guard Harriet Welham, simply went up to the next gear, maintaining the teams control on the game.
A third quarter run saw Ipswich extend the lead to twelve points, and the Suffolk side gradually opened that lead up to twenty points with five minutes to play. Welham was leading the Ipswich charge, with Charlotte Redhead, Becky Harwood-Bellis and Cameron Taylor-Willis all making major contributions.
Nottingham, however, simply wouldn’t quit. The final five minutes saw the visitors connect on a barrage of three pointers to claw themselves back to within single digits. The barrage continued into the final minute with eight unanswered points suddenly saw Ipswich clinging on to their lead as time expired, winning the game 100-97
“A win is a win. But we just dodged a bullet here” Said Ipswich Coach Nick Drane. “I thought we were solid but not spectacular today, and we certainly didn’t shoot the ball well, so to win while not playing great and not shooting well is a positive sign. But this is the second week in a row where we have not closed a game out well. That needs to be looked at this week ahead of what will be a massive test against Bristol “.
Welham posted another impressive stat line of 30 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Cameron Taylor-Willis was also at it again, with a 21/11 double-double. Charlotte Redhead was in fine shooting form, connecting on four threes on her way to a season high fourteen while Becky Harwood-Bellis contributed twelve points off the bench.
Ipswich are at home again next week at 3pm, when they host Bristol Flyers as part of a double header with the NBL Division Two Men, who play at 5:30pm.