The Edge played host to a fantastic performance from Leeds’ women’s basketball team on Wednesday, as they won at home for the first time this season, beating Teesside 53-15. Leeds were hoping to win their second game in succession, after beating Hull away from home a fortnight ago.
Leeds won the opening tip and started the game brightly, scoring with their first attack of the match. Teesside had a few good chances after this but were wasteful, with Leeds’ counter attack working fantastically as they took a 4-0 lead. Quick thinking by the team left Aoise Keegan with an easy shot to put the home side 6 points ahead. Teesside spent the majority of the first quarter frustrated by good defensive work from Leeds, and were already twelve points down by the time they scored their first basket, courtesy of a free throw. Another score at the end of the quarter meant Leeds had a nine point lead going into the break.
Once again, Leeds were the brightest side at the start of the quarter, scoring two baskets in quick succession to take a 16-3 lead. Although they looked on top for the majority of the quarter, Leeds were committing more fouls, with Teesside taking advantage of the free throws to get within ten points, before the first three-point shot of the game from Leeds, followed up by two points from Lucy Craft, meant the home side were 21-7 leaders at half time.
Teesside showed good belief at the start of the second half, but resolute defending from Leeds neutralised the threat, with both sides scoring points early in the quarter. Leeds then stepped up a gear, with some fantastic play from the team allowing Emma Johnson to make the score 27-10. This clinical finishing continued for the rest of the quarter, with Teesside unable to capitalise on the free throw opportunities they were given, and spent most the match resorting to long shots, resulting in Leeds having the majority of the possession throughout the game. The home side’s substitutions had given the team the extra energy they needed, as they scored twelve more points before the end of the quarter, to take an unassailable 39-10 lead, with only one quarter remaining.
The away side could attribute the performance to a lack of game time, having forfeited their first match of the season against Northumbria. Leeds were in no mood to be forgiving however, scoring six points early on in the final quarter. Teesside looked dejected with the score line, but managed to stop Leeds’ run of twenty unanswered points with a good shot from underneath the basket to make the score 45-12. Free throws helped Leeds build their lead even further before a fantastic shot from well outside the three-point line from Emma Irwin put the home side past the fifty point mark, with both teams scoring a few more points in the final minutes as the game wound down, with Leeds ending deserved 53-15 winners.
Leeds will be hoping that score line gives them a psychological advantage as they play Teesside again next week in Middlesbrough, in their first cup match of the season. Another fantastic team performance from the Gryphons should easily see them reach the next round.
Photo Credit: Leeds University