- National Teams
London Lions saw their EuroLeague Women debut end in defeat as they were beaten 48-63 by Hungarian side DVTK in the first leg of the qualifiers.
The British side will head on the road next week needing to overturn the 15-point deficit if they are to compete in this season’s regular season.
Megan Gustafson top scored in defeat with 13 points off the bench with Juicy Landrum adding 12 points as the only scorers in double figures.
It was a cagey start for London as the visitors made the faster start with the first five points of the contest. Holly Winterburn settled any nerves with a triple to register the club’s first points in EuroLeague action, but it would ultimately prove to be a frustrating night.
Landrum put the Lions ahead with back-to-back baskets before last season’s EuroLeague top scorer Gustafson came off the bench to add six points by asserting her presence inside.
Karlie Samuelson hit a three at the start of the second to push London ahead by five at 19-14, but the Hungarians halted their momentum with a 12-2 response. The game of runs continues as the Lions first levelled before seeing DVTK restore the five-point gap to make it 26-31 at the half.
The gap grew to nine points during the third as the Lions struggled to get going. It took an and-1 from Temi Fagbenle – breaking her own 0-4 start – to spark some life with London putting together a 10-2 spell across quarters to cut the gap to a single point.
Landrum’s three-point play opened the fourth, before DVTK once again turned the tide with timely baskets to stay ahead. They established a double-digit lead for the first time at 44-54 at the midpoint with the Lions in need of a late burst.
Savannah Wilkinson provided the inspiration with successive scores to close the gap to six with 4:42 remaining. However, that would be the Lions’ final points as DVTK kept their opponents scoreless for the remainder, whilst adding nine points themselves to take a 15-point advantage.
London’s hopes were dealt a further blow with Fagbenle helped off the court in the final stages with an apparent leg injury.
– This was London’s debut in the competition
– Lions starters: Landrum, Katanic, Winterburn, Snytsina, Fagbenle
– Cheridene Green spent two years at DVTK, but was absent through injury
– Abby Meyers, Maya Price were also out; Faye Endean, Katie Cox DNPs
– The second leg takes place in Hungary next Wednesday