London Lions 91-59 Caledonia Pride (28-14, 48-26, 68-43, 91-59)
(Lions: S.Umeh – 27, K.Leonard – 13, C.Breen – 12; Pride: M.Ranger – 19, S.Phillips – 16, P.Storie – 6)
Leicester Riders 72-47 Newcastle Eagles (17-12, 45-25, 58-37, 72-47)
(Riders: A.Smith – 17, K.Januszewska – 13, H.Robb – 12; Eagles: A.Gorrell – 18, M.Mcvicar – 6, D.Rodriguez Perez – 5)
London Lions guard Kennedy Leonard set the new record for the most assists in a single WBBL game this afternoon as her team comfortably beat the Caledonia Pride, while the Leicester Riders also picked up a victory thanks to a classy performance against the Newcastle Eagles.
The afternoon tipped off with the newly crowned BBL Trophy champions London Lions hosting Scottish team Caledonia Pride, and despite good displays from a few of the visiting players, the Lions had too much for them to handle as Leonard dropped an incredible 21 assists for her teammates, as well as making an impressive eight steals and scoring 13 points.
Stephanie Umeh again was fantastic off the bench as she managed a game-high 27 points, tying forward Valentina Klocker for the most rebounds on the team too with a total of eight while Cassie Breen and Paige Robinson proved efficient scorers as they managed a combined 21 points with an 80% field goal percentage each.
Maud Ranger led the Pride in scoring as she added 19 points to go with her nine rebounds – a total only beaten in the entire game by forward Sian Phillips, who had managed a double-double with ten rebounds and 16 points while making four steals, a total which only Ranger could get close to for her team as she managed three.
Meanwhile, in Leicester, the pressure was on the Riders to get a victory as the Lions temporarily opened the gap by a further two points in the WBBL Championship standings, but the home side kept their nerve as they put in a dominant shift to beat Newcastle Eagles by 25 points.
Amber Smith led the scoring for the Riders who found plenty of join behind the arc as they managed ten three-pointers, with Smith managing to knock down two herself as she put up 17 points to go with her six rebounds.
Azania Stewart also managed six rebounds to tie Smith with the most in her team, as Holy Winterburn set-up her teammates eight times to go along with her eight points while subs Katie Januszewska and Maya Brewer both reached double-figures for scoring.
The Eagles will look at Alison Gorrell’s performance as a sign of hope for the rest of the season, as she managed a game-high of 18 points as she also grabbed six rebounds, a total only beaten in the entire game by her teammates Deborah Rodriguez Perez and Orieoma Chukwu-Etu who managed seven – but Newcastle will be looking to address the issues offensively as their defensive game looks stronger.
The results leave just two points standing between the Lions and the Riders in first and second place respectively but with Leicester having a game in hand, all is still to play for. At the bottom end of the table, ninth placed Newcastle Eagles and tenth placed Caledonia Pride remain four points apart – but with the Pride having two games in hand.