- National Teams
London Lions ended their three-game home stretch in EuroCup action with their second loss in the regular season as they went down to a 61-68 loss against Rutronik Stars Keltern.
The Lions drop to 2-2 in the group with two road games to follow in a bid to qualify for the knockout stages.
Kennedy Leonard top scored with 15 points with six rebounds and seven assists with Azania Stewart the only other player in double figures with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Winterburn set the tone with a block at one end that resulted in the opening score of the game at the other. Shanice Beckford-Norton picked up an early second foul on as both sides struggled to find a rhythm in a low-scoring start.
The Lions were guilty of missing some chances under the basket, but defence was on top in limiting the amount of open looks at either end. Leonard hit the first three of the game to edge the hosts ahead, but Keltern would lead 9-12 after the opening period with London 4-of-16 from the floor.
Points were still hard to come by in the second with the Lions moving ahead with a 7-3 run sparked by a three from Beckford-Norton. Later, Chantel Charles would follow suit in an instant response from a Keltern three to ensure the hosts would take a slender 27-26 advantage into the break.
Stewart scored six quick points to open the third including a nice spin move inside before a score from Steph Umeh made it a five-point game for the first time. Keltern scored seven straight to re-take the lead before Cassie Breen capped a 12-4 burst with the final six points.
However, Brittany Carter hit a three to half the deficit to 47-44 at the end of the third and the German side carried the momentum into the final period with 14 unanswered points including a run of three successive triples.
London had been held scoreless for almost five minutes when Leonard beat the buzzer from beyond the arc and there was renewed life for the WBBL side. The gap had been cut back to within three points at 56-59 through four points from Beckford-Norton, but Keltern again struck from outside.
Back came the Lions. Defence into offence. Winterburn converted the steal into points, then Leonard repeated the feat, but this time with a three. 61-62 heading into the final minute.
– Lions won the previous encounter in Germany 78-81 in their regular season opener
– Lions starters: Leonard, Beckford-Norton, Winterburn, Charles & Stewart
– Valentina Klocker is expected to miss the remainder of the season through injury
– Lions were also without Jo Leedham-Warner (personal) and Leah McDerment (injury)
– Their final two games are on the road against Brno and Castors Braine