Caledonia Pride 48-79 Durham Palatinates (16-16, 29-30, 38-55)
(Pride – Tweedie 13, Ranger 12, Phillips 8; Palatinates – Hurtado Barbeito 24, Bennett 19, Hendershot 19)
Gloucester City Queens 66-69 Manchester Met Mystics (18-21, 27-34, 41-45)
(Queens – Fitzpatrick 26, Emanuel-Carr 18, Ball 11; Mystics – Jones 18, Williams 17, Allen 16)
Leicester Riders 74-77 Sheffield Hatters (20-23, 41-38, 58-59)
(Riders – Jennings 20, Lappenkuper 16, Stone 13; Hatters – Naylor 19, Gill 18, Fong Lyew Quee 13)
An intriguing afternoon in the WBBL Championship saw three road wins, including a pair of close games that resulted in one unbeaten record being maintained while another was broken, and elsewhere there was a team that picked up their first win of the campaign in comprehensive style.
Sheffield Hatters are one of three sides that remain unbeaten in the WBBL Championship, now 3-0 after prevailing 77-74 through an extremely tight contest on the road at fellow contenders, Leicester Riders.
After Helen Naylor hit a three-pointer – on her way to a team-high 19 points – to spark a 9-4 tear to end the first half, there was no point in the second half where the teams were separated by more than one shot.
There were 13 lead changes in the game and the decisive scores came within the last three minutes as, trailing by three, Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee made a momentum-shifting ‘and-one’ play that led to six points in a row as Ariona Gill made the score 71-68 – she finished with 18 points off the bench in just 22 minutes.
Naylor and Georgia Gayle then maintained their poise from the free-throw line to go 4-4 to hold off the hosts in the final stages, with Riders now 1-2 in the league.
Elsewhere, another unbeaten start came to an end as Manchester Met Mystics toppled Gloucester City Queens 69-66 at Oxtalls Sports Park, behind a big double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds from Dominique Allen.
Mystics led from the end of the first quarter after hitting eight straight points as Erika Williams scored five of her 17 off the bench, and they never trailed thereafter.
But the game was tight throughout, until Mystics looked to have it won when Williams scored six more in a 10-3 opening to the fourth period that saw the lead reach double-figures at 55-44.
The lead peaked at 64-48 with three and a half minutes to play on Allen’s score, but Mystics wouldn’t score again from the field as the hosts came all the way back to within one shot, only for captain Georgia Jones to see the game out from the free-throw line for the visitors.
Finally, Durham Palatinates picked up a first win of the season at the fourth time of asking, using a pair of outstanding defensive spells to take a 79-48 road win at Caledonia Pride.
The teams could barely be separated in the first half, but Palatinates won the second half by an astounding 49-19 behind some formidable defence. Early in the third quarter they held their hosts scoreless for nearly five minutes, while pouring in 15 unanswered points from five different scorers, to send the lead through double figures at 45-31.
And there was no way back for the Pride, when another 15-0 surge followed midway through the fourth, as this time Goretti Hurtado Barbeito hit nine straight points to send the lead through thirty, as Durham shut their opponents out for a further six minutes.
There were huge double-double performances from Hurtado Barbeito who posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, along with seven steals to lead the defence, as well as Elle Hendershot, who finished with 19 points and 18 boards.