Rachel James hits a pair of late three-pointers to see Manchester Mystics through overtime.
Manchester Mystics 81-79 Newcastle Eagles (23-16, 34-36, 50-57, 68-68)
Manchester Mystics came through overtime to beat Newcastle Eagles 81-79, for a fifth win in their last six games, and a third straight at home, as they head into the benecos WBBL Play-offs.
This was the last game of the regular season for both teams, with Mystics confirmed in fourth place and Eagles in seventh place in the WBBL Championship table.
Leading scorers – Rachel James 22, Evelyn Ovner 15, Samantha Roscoe 15 (Mystics); Kara Bonenberger 21, Giulia Simioni 18, Georgia Ohrdorf 14 (Eagles)
Turning point – Mystics trailed by double-figures in the fourth quarter, having led by as much in the first, but they forced overtime when a Georgia Jones ‘and-one’ play sparked an 8-2 run before Rheanne Bailey tied the game with 20 seconds left. Once in the extra period the teams traded baskets and they again trailed inside the final thirty seconds until, with just five seconds remaining, James hit her second consecutive three-pointer to settle the tie.
Key stat – In a game of the finest margins, Manchester’s efficiency from the offensive glass proved key as they scored 17 second chance points from just 13 offensive rebounds, with Julie Page grabbing five of those from the bench.
Game hero(es) – The heroics came from James, who led her team with 22 points including those two crucial triples late on, to go with seven rebounds. Roscoe also had a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards.