Bobcats hit top form
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Ipswich Bobcats 91 Tyne and Wear 58. Ipswich Bobcats scored their second resounding victory in a fortnight over Tyne & Wear Northumbria when they defeated the league leaders in Women's National League Division Two North at Northgate.
Ipswich Bobcats 91 Tyne and Wear 58
Ipswich Bobcats scored their second resounding victory in a fortnight over Tyne & Wear Northumbria when they defeated the league leaders in Women's National League Division Two North at Northgate.
As had been the case at Maidenhall in the National Trophy, Bobcats made a strong start and the visitors found it difficult to cope with the Ipswich full court press.
Laura Shemming led the charge to give Bobcats a 6-0 lead in the second minute and force Tyne & Wear coach Deirdre Hayes to call an early time out.
The visitors' response to the Ipswich tactics remained largely ineffective, and two points from the line by Becky Davis was their only success as Bobcats' high percentage shooting took them 23-2 ahead after only six minutes.
Elin Carlsson ended the drought with Tyne & Wear's first field goal, and although the visitors rallied in the closing stages, four points from Kirsty Clark and a second three-pointer from Kayleigh Read secured a 30-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.
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Bobcats renewed their determination at the restart and strong inside moves from Jessica Gray were matched by a superb performance by Catherine McLean, who hit six baskets at 100% in just seven minutes.
Bobcats led 48-21 when Tyne & Wear Coach Deirdre Hayes earned a technical for disputing a call, and Ipswich profited from the resultant free throws and sideline possession to secure a commanding 53-24 lead at the interval.
Shemming kept up the Ipswich pressure at the start of the third quarter, scoring 7 of her season best 29 point tally in the first three minutes as Ipswich extend the lead to 60-28.
Baskets from Gray and the lively Helen Wood took Ipswich further ahead, and two more baskets by McLean secured a 16 point tally, her best ever performance in a Bobcats vest.
Bobcats led 72-32 with three minutes of the third quarter remaining, and although Tyne & Wear rallied when McLure hit a three-pointer and English scored off a drive, Ipswich well deserved their 76-38 lead at the end of the period.
Deirdre Hayes was ejected after picking up her second Coach Technical foul for comments made to the referee in the interval, and the game restarted with Shemming converting a free throw.
The Ipswich captain added another seven points in just five minutes before being rested by Elaine Miller, at last giving Tyne & Wear's Taacha Brown some leeway, the American guard hitting six of her 17 point tally in a three minute spell.
Kirsty Banns continued her recent good work with four points late in the match, and although Tyne & Wear scored more freely in the closing stages, they could not prevent their heaviest defeat of the season as Ipswich ran out 91-58 winners.
Ipswich are running into a rich vein of form at just the right time of the season, because on Sunday they travel to Nottingham to face Stockport Lapwings in the Women's National Trophy Final.
The match will be played at the Jesse Boot Arena, tipping off at 1.45 p.m.
Teams and scorers
Ipswich Bobcats: L Shemming 29, J Gray 21, C McLean 16, K Read 15, K Banns 4, K Clark 4, H Wood 2, L Brodie 0
Tyne & Wear Northumbria: T Brown 17, E Carlsson 15, S McLure 9, E Ross 5, B Davis 4, J English 4, P Frampton 2, E Lawrence 2, J Murray 0
Other results: Derby 54 Birmingham Force 57, Leicester 44 Oxford 56.