Brixton Topcats 53 (Wade-Fray 15, Charles 14, Robinson/Da Silva/Grant 6)
Leicester Riders 61 (Smith 17, G Jones 8, Hayward/E Jones 7)
It was the home side Topcats who made the brighter start with the opening five points before the Riders quickly levelled to set the tone for an even first quarter. The Topcats closed with a 7-2 run capped by a triple from Jenaya Wade-Fray to lead by five at 20-15 in favour of the hosts.
The lead was as large as seven at the start of the second period, but Riders’ bench unit helped claw their side back into contention as Deanne Hayward scored five points in quick succession in an 11-2 run to take the lead. Smith would later beat the buzzer from beyond the arc to give the visitors a six-point cushion going into the break. The Riders guard picked up where she left off in the second half with her second triple before adding three in a row to see the lead grow to 15 points.
Brixton refused to give up without a fight and produced a storming response in the fourth quarter with a 13-0 run over a six-minute spell. However, Georgia Jones ended the drought from the free throw line and the Riders were able to hold on for the win.
Wade-Fray again top scored for the Topcats with 15 points, while captain Amber Charles had 14 in support as her side fell to a 0-3 record in the league.
Coach Vear reflected on the game taking the positives.
“I really felt like we matched Leicester for three quarters causing them a lot of problems in the final quarter only allowing them to score 3 points as our defence was outstanding. But that is the WBBL – you have to play a full game to win in this league where we simply had a meltdown in the third quarter. A lot of credit to Riders, who came here and put us under some real pressure.”
“I always take the positives from the game, where our captain Amber Charles had her best game of the season as well as Paige Robinson also putting in her best performance. I also liked Brenda Kipewu’s defensive intensity today which helped us when pushing to get back into the game. We have no games for 2 weeks so it’s time to re focus at practice and keep moving forward on getting better.”
Full game stats here