- National Teams
London Lions completed their second successive clean sweep in the WBBL after beating Leicester Riders 57-41 at The O2 Arena, in London.
It was far from a classic, but it was a fourth piece of silverware of the season – and 10th overall – for the Lions as they rounded out another perfect season, on Sunday afternoon.
Kat Snytsina top scored with 11 points in the win with Ty Battle collecting 15 rebounds to go with eight points as the Finals MVP, while Holly Winterburn also added 11 points along with four rebounds and five assists.
The Lions looked to retiring veteran Azania Stewart in their opening possessions and it was the GB legend that was first to get the scoreboard moving before Kirsty Brown responded with a three-point play.
Fiona O’Dwyer connected from downtown to push the Riders into an early advantage with the Lions offence only putting up four points through the opening six minutes. However, that soon changed as they put together a 13-0 run that was capped by a Leslie Vorpahl three after back-to-back scores from Battle and Taylor Murray.
McKenzie Johnston stopped the rot for Leicester after seven straight misses and they found themselves 19-10 behind after 10 minutes with a 4-of-17 shooting start.
Winterburn opened her account after an 0-of-6 start before Oliana Squires scored her first points from downtown with Hannah Robb capping a 7-0 run to cut the gap to just a single point at 21-20.
The Scottish guard had to check out shortly after picked up an apparent ankle injury shortly and the Lions responded with a 10-0 spell that helped establish a 31-23 lead to take into the half-time break.
Points were still hard to come by in the second half with both sides continuing to struggle to find their rhythm. The Riders had to wait until the four-minute mark to register their first points since the interval, but London had not been able to capitalise and pull completely out of sight with their lead as large as 12.
O’Dwyer’s triple cut the gap back to single figures, only for Snytsina to answer in kind and Vorpahl’s late basket putting London up 42-28 ahead of the final 10 minutes.
The Lions pushed on to move 20 points ahead on a three from Taylor Murray and the celebrations were already on ice with Stewart leaving the game late on to receive a standing ovation.
– London Lions become the first WBBL team to win 10 titles
– London Lions defeated Sevenoaks Suns in the 2022 Playoffs final
– Lions starters: Murray, Winterburn, Snytsina, Battle, Stewart
– Riders starters: Johnston, Squires, O’Dwyer, Arlen, Brown
– Winterburn has now won 11 titles in the WBBL (3 with Riders)