Archers & Wildcats Progress to Cup Semi-Finals

WBBL Cup, South Group
Cardiff Met Archers 51-68 BA London Lions (13-24, 23-41, 38-51)
(Archers – Hatch 13, Marchizotti 10, Jorgensen 7; Lions – Leonard 20, Breen 16, Umeh 11)

WBBL Cup, North Group
Manchester Met Mystics 75-101 Nottingham Wildcats (26-21, 45-51, 62-76)
(Mystics – Jones 21, Naylor 14, Horton 11; Wildcats – Joyner 37, Shumpert 29, Costa 12)

Three of the four WBBL Cup semi-finalists are now known, with just one place from the North Group still up for grabs on Sunday, as Cardiff Met Archers and Nottingham Wildcats booked their places.

In a fascinating turn of events, Archers will progress from the South Group despite a heavy loss at home to BA London Lions, for whom 68-51 did not pass the 21 point margin that they needed to leapfrog Cardiff on points difference.

After a tight opening, Lions gave it a good shot by hitting 14 straight points – seven of which were scored by Kennedy Leonard – in a five minute spell, and the contest was settled when they opened the second with the first six points, holding their hosts scoreless for another four minutes as four points for Stephanie Umeh made it 30-13.

Lions’ lead peaked at 24 mid-way through the fourth quarter and they looked to be advancing, until an 11-0 burst saved Archers. There were five different scorers in that run, as a Shannon Hatch three-pointer capped it to make the score 62-49 with under three minutes to play, and from there Archers held the deficit under the required amount.

In the North Group, Jasmine Joyner (37) and Chelsey Shumpert (29) combined for an amazing 66 points as Nottingham Wildcats beat Manchester Mystics 101-75 on the road.

Wildcats put on an offensive clinic in the middle two quarters, as Joyner had 24 of her points in just 18 first half minutes. Trailing heading into the last three minutes of the second, Joyner scored eight points in a flash during a 10-2 finish to the period that put Wildcats up for good at 51-45, having scored 30 points in the quarter.

Shumpert added nine points in the third frame – during which Nottingham hit another 25 – and the lead was through double-digits at 67-54 on her three-pointer, with no way back for Mystics as it only grew late on when Joyner and Shumpert combined for 17 fourth quarter points.