Manchester v Hatter – WBBL (Cup Semi Final)

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Manchester Mystics 63-93 Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters (18-18, 28-44, 44-70)

Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters are the first team into the WBBL Cup Final after beating 2017 winners Manchester Mystics 93-63 on the road to make it seven wins in a row in all competitions.

It is the first time Hatters have qualified for the Cup Final, and they will meet the winners of Leicester Riders and Sevenoaks Suns at Arena Birmingham on Sunday 27 January 2019.

Leading scorers – Evelyn Ovner 23, Samantha Roscoe 22, Georgia Jones 9 (Mystics); Sarah Toeaina 27, Luiana Livulo 25, Helen Naylor 18 (Hatters)

Turning point – After a close first quarter, Hatters broke the game open with a 14-2 surge early in the second stanza when Helen Naylor scored five points among five different scorers, for a double-digit lead at 32-22. Another 8-0 spell followed, as Alison Gorrell scored consecutively for 42-26, and the lead was well through 20 points when Naylor netted a pair of three-pointers late in the third.

Key stat – Hatters moved the ball much better than their hosts and ended with 27 assists compared to just 17 for Mystics, with Alison Gorrell and Levke Brodersen handing out eight assists each.

Game hero – Sarah Toeaina (27) and Luiana Livulo (25) combined for more than half of Sheffield’s points, with both grabbing eight rebounds each and Livulo also blocking a startling six shots. Toeaina shot an astonishing 13-15 (86%) at the free-throw line.

Match report courtesy WBBL


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