All-Star Five – Week 16

It’s a double-feature for the table-topping London Lions in this week’s All-Star Five, led by a record-breaking Kennedy Leonard as she continues her scintillating form. They are chased down by Cat Carr of Sevenoaks Suns and Azania Stewart of Leicester Riders as the title race heats up.

Kennedy Leonard – London Lions
Lions won three games in the space of six days last week to remain atop the WBBL Championship, as Leonard broke the single-game assists record in their home win over Caledonia Pride on Sunday to make her seventh All-Star Five showing, second most of any player. She handed out 21 assists for her teammates, comfortably passing the previous record of 17, and nearly completed a triple-double with 13 points and eight steals. The GB international point guard could have featured in the team three times for her performances last week, and is the form player as Lions head into a crucial double-header against fellow top four sides.

Cat Carr – Sevenoaks Suns
Sevenoaks Suns remain the only unbeaten team in the WBBL Championship after overpowering Durham Palatinates at home, with captain Cat Carr leading the chase as she makes her second consecutive weekly appearance. Carr had a double-double by scoring 19 points, including 9-14 (64%) interior shooting, and grabbing 11 rebounds, while adding six assists and five steals in a dominant display. Nine of her points came in a second stanza that Suns won 24-8 to put the game beyond their visitors.

Stephanie Umeh – London Lions
Perhaps the best player off the bench in the WBBL this season, Umeh gives Lions unbelievable additional firepower as the league’s leader in field goal percentage. Never has that been more on display than against Pride last week, as in just 21 minutes she poured in 27 points on 11-16 (68%) shooting, adding eight rebounds and two steals. She made an instant impact, with six points in three and a half minutes to make the lead double-figures after first checking in, before adding another 10 in five second quarter minutes to send the lead through 20.

Simone Costa – Nottingham Wildcats
Nottingham bounced back from defeat in the WBBL Trophy Final, and remain in the hunt for a top four spot after Costa led them past Caledonia Pride to make her second All-Star Five appearance of the season. The Portuguese guard put up 20 points, with six assists and five rebounds, and made 8-9 (88%) at the free-throw line as she proved too much to handle, drawing seven fouls. She scored eight of her points in the key second quarter run during which Wildcats established a double-digit lead in an 18-6 four minute spell.

Azania Stewart – Leicester Riders
The second-placed Riders recorded wins in consecutive days to make it four in a row, just one win behind Lions at the top, as GB international and London Olympian Azania Stewart put in a big performance in a close game with Manchester Met Mystics. She shot 6-9 (66%) from the field on her way to 13 points, adding nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks to gain weekly honours for the first time. That included two big rebounds and a block at the defensive end inside the final two minutes as Mystics mounted a late comeback, having been a consistent scoring threat throughout to lead her team in a low-scoring encounter.

Off the bench: Kara Elderkin (Durham Palatinates), Sian Phillips (Caledonia Pride), Irene Garrido-Perez (Sevenoaks Suns), Lauren Milligan (Oaklands Wolves), Claire Paxton (Durham Palatinates), Moa Lundqvist (Nottingham Wildcats), Hannah Robb (Leicester Riders).