Hatters hunt second as a Sarah Toeaina double-double leads them to a road win.
Essex Rebels 66-76 Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters (14-23, 34-40, 51-55)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters are still chasing second place in the WBBL Championship table after a 76-66 defeat of Essex Rebels saw them match Leicester Riders’ 21-4 record in the race for runner-up.
Rebels remain at the foot of the table, but can lift themselves to 11th on the final day with a win over BA London Lions as they hold the head-to-head over Caledonia Pride.
Leading scorers – DeAngelique Waithe 25, Cat Lutz 11, Jessy Ward 10 (Rebels); Sarah Toeaina 26, Levke Brodersen 19, Alison Gorrell 11 (Hatters)
Turning point – Hatters opened an early lead but were pegged back when the hosts won the second and third quarters. The decisive spell came when they opened the fourth by holding Rebels scoreless for more than four minutes as Brodersen scored five straight points to push the margin to double-figures at 63-51, in what was an 8-0 opening.
Key stat – Hatters were too much for Rebels to handle, winning the rebounding battle by an impressive 64-35, and also getting to the free-throw line on 23 occasions, scoring 21 points there at a success rate of 91%.
Game hero – Toeaina dominated the game, scoring 26 points including 12-13 free-throws. She added 16 rebounds to complete a double-double, and also handed out three assists.