Manchester Met Mystics 82-56 Newcastle Eagles (30-20, 46-42, 59-49)
(Mystics – Jones 20, Naylor 12, Bailey 11; Eagles – Gorrell 20, McVicar 14, Koop 7)
Manchester Met Mystics opened the new WBBL Championship season with a comprehensive 82-56 win over Newcastle Eagles at the National Basketball Performance Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team came into the game on form as both had exited the WBBL Cup in the group stages, while the Mystics were previously winless in three games including a defeat to Newcastle.
But they were fast out of the blocks in this one, pouring in 30 first quarter points and leading 34-20 early in the second as Rheanne Bailey hit 10 early points without missing, including a pair of three-pointers.
After Eagles came back to within two shots, Mystics switched to a defensive clampdown in the second half, starting the third period on a 9-1 run over more than six minutes to send the lead back into double-figures at 55-43. Dominique Allen opened the scoring after the break, and then led the defence with five defensive rebounds and a block in that spell.
Mystics completed an excellent second half by winning the fourth 23-7 – holding their visitors to just 14 second half points – as Helen Naylor and Georgia Jones scored six points each. It was Jones who led the scoring overall with 20 points, adding six rebounds and five assists.