Team Northumbria 73 (11,38,53) (Clark 20, Voynova/Bully 17)
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters 68 (18,32,55) (Naylor 17, Lowenthal 13, Gayle 11)
Team Northumbria inflicted a first WBBL Championship loss on defending champions Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters in over a year as they maintained their own unbeaten start with a 73-68victory.
Ta’Yani Clark netted 20 points – including 11 in a dominant 27-14 second quarter and a go-ahead three-point play in the final 30 seconds – while Chloe Bully added 17 points and Diana Voynova posted another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Northumbria had seen their half-time advantage turn into a four-point deficit ahead of the final two minutes but put together a 11-2 close to seal a fourth straight league win.
The home side had a bright start, but Helen Naylor found her range from downtown to help the Hatters into a seven-point lead at the end of the first. Clark had gone scoreless in the opening period, but netted nine straight at the start of the second to put her side ahead in the midst of a 17-3 run.
Bully added two triples either side of another basket from Clark to extend the lead to 11 points at 36-25 before half-time.
However, the visitors began to claw their way back and started the second half with a 9-2 run to take the lead. That set the trend of the lead changing hands throughout the third period but eight points from Baendu Lowenthal helped Sheffield edge ahead going into the final quarter.
The lead only grew as large as five points in the fourth as Northumbria kept themselves in touching distance to set up a tense finale. Chris Bunten’s side produced a timely late run to finish with the final seven points to take the win.
Naylor led Sheffield with 17 points, while reigning MVP Steph Gandy struggled to find her rhythm after going 1-of-10 from the field in a 40-minute effort as Sheffield drop to 1-1.