Georgia Gayle moves in to the top ten of the scoring charts as she leads Hatters to an important win at Crusaders.
Barking Abbey Crusaders 61 (19,35,49) (Da Silva 14, Johnson 10, Wilkinson 9)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 77 (19,41,54) (Gayle 26, Naylor 17, Gandy 16)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters moved up to joint-second in the WBBL Championship after winning 77-61 on the road at Barking Abbey Crusaders, distancing themselves from their opponents, who had been chasing down the top four.
It was a first win in three league outings for the Hatters, paced by 26 points from Georgia Gayle – the second time she has led her team in three games, after a performance that sends her through 200 points for the season, and into the top ten of the scoring charts.
The hosts came into this game higher in the form table, and that showed early on in a tight encounter as Ecaterina Armanu’s three-pointer put them up 19-18, the teams separated by more than one shot for only one minute in the opening twelve.
But the game changed on a burst of seven unanswered points in the second stanza, Steph Gandy scoring four of those and Gayle adding a triple, for 28-22 as Crusaders had two scoreless minutes.
Crusaders weren’t done, and briefly levelled in the third period when Teresa Da Silva started and finished a 6-0 run to knot the teams at 47.
But Gayle halted that momentum with an ‘and-one’ play, the foul called on Da Silva, and then added a three-pointer for a 6-0 tear of her own. The lead reached double-digits in the fourth, when Gayle scored four and Helen Naylor connected from long-range – seven points in under a minute making the score 63-52.