The WBBL Cup semi-finals were confirmed over the weekend and some big-scoring games were led by outstanding individual performances, dominated by the East Midlands. Jasmine Joyner paced the team for the second time already this season, followed, also for the second time, by Holly Winterburn among some amazing shooting displays.
Jasmine Joyner – Nottingham Wildcats
Joyner produced one of the best performances of the WBBL era as Nottingham Wildcats went through the century in beating Manchester Met Mystics on the road on Saturday. The 6’2” forward had a huge double-double of 37 points, on 17-21 (80%) interior shooting, to go with 19 rebounds. Despite running out comfortable 101-75 victors, Wildcats trailed for much of the first half, until Joyner scored eight in a little over two minutes on the run up to half time to turn the game around.
Holly Winterburn – Leicester Riders
Winterburn came off the bench to post a near triple-double as Riders produced an unbelievable fourth quarter comeback to beat rivals Newcastle Eagles. The guard went for 18 points on 7-11 (63%) shooting, with nine rebounds and eight assists, also adding three steals. She did much of her scoring early in the game, as Riders tried to hang on while Eagles led. The visitors then won the fourth period 36-9, and despite not scoring in that run, Winterburn did a bit of everything else with four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block to help her team.
Chelsey Shumpert – Nottingham Wildcats
Shumpert was Joyner’s partner in crime as Wildcats dominated Mystics, with the pair combining for an amazing 66 points. Shumpert contributed 29 of those and, like Winterburn, came agonisingly close to a triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists. Like her teammate, Shumpert scored key baskets in the game as she hit nine of her points in a third quarter run where Nottingham pulled away, including the three-pointer that sent the lead through double-digits.
Renee Busch – Sevenoaks Suns
Suns confirmed top spot in the South Group by beating Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday behind a perfect shooting display from Renee Busch. She went 9-9 from the field, including an astonishing 7-7 from three-point range, to lead all scorers with 25 points. Archers were within single-figures heading into the fourth quarter, until Busch hit 11 of her points in a decisive 16-2 opening.
Kate Oliver – Leicester Riders
The person who did much of the scoring for Leicester as they dominated Newcastle in the fourth quarter, making her second All-Star 5 appearance in a row, was Kate Oliver. She had 14 of her team’s 36 points in the last ten minutes, before finishing with a game-high 29 points on 11-15 (73%) shooting that included four three-pointers, just one miss on the inside, and a perfect 3-3 at the line.
Off the bench: Kennedy Leonard (BA London Lions), Alison Gorrell (Newcastle Eagles), Chantel Charles (BA London Lions), Georgia Jones (Manchester Met Mystics), Mara Marchizotti (Cardiff Met Archers), Maddy McVicar (Newcastle Eagles), Ta’Yani Clark (Sevenoaks Suns).