Molten WBBL Play-Off Semi-Final (OT)
Team Northumbria 90 (20,36,61) (Fong Lyew Quee 19, Voynova 16, Bully 15)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 88 (21,43,63) (Gandy 18, Gayle 17, Lowenthal 16)
Team Northumbria outlasted Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in an overtime thriller with a 90-88 victory setting up a Molten WBBL Play-Off Final clash with Nottingham Wildcats at The O2 Arena next Sunday.
Diana Voynova scored the decisive basket in the dying seconds of the extra period to send her side int their first final in the WBBL.
Northumbria were boosted by five players in double figures, led by 19 points from Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee as they ended the reign of the defending Play-Off champions in breathtaking fashion.
The visitors made a strong start to lead by as many as seven points in the opening period, but Northumbria closed to within one to set the tone for a close-fought encounter. After the lead traded hands early in the second, the Hatters restored their seven-point advantage heading into half-time.
Sheffield extended their lead to eight points with three minutes to go in the third period before another fightback from the hosts saw them tie the game at 63-63. There was little between the two teams throughout a tense final period with Northumbria edging into a three-point lead inside the last two minutes.
After more twists and turns, the gap was again at three points and Sheffield would eventually tie the game after Georgia Gayle netted from 3-point range with just 1.8 seconds left on the clock to force the extra period.
Sheffield saw an 85-82 advantage turn into an 88-85 deficit late in overtime, before Gayle stepped up again with a three-point play to tie the game once more. However, this time Northumbria answered and Voynova sealed a memorable win for her side.
Steph Gandy top scored for Sheffield with 18 points, while Gayle added 17 from the bench as Sheffield played their part in a thrilling encounter.
Northumbria head to The O2 Arena next week, looking to deny Nottingham Wildcats a second piece of silverware in the WBBL this season following their league title success last month.
Match Report Courtesy of the WBBL