Giants 52-66 Gladiators
Marg Jones and her Mnahcetser giants are back in action for the first time in 3 weeks as the Manchester Giants host the Caledonia Gladiators in the latest round of Women's British Basketball League action.
This will be the first time these 2 teams face off this season, a completely clean slate and an all even head to head matchup. Both teams would be looking to strike first and gain the upper hand on the other.
Caledonia head into this game in 2nd place only being bested by London so far in the league. Manchester meanwhile, are sitting in 6th and looking to regain league form and create some breathing space between themselves and Newcastle, the 2 teams are currently joint on points as well as games played.
Manchester started hot and early as Myah Pace connected from 3 point land to counter Caledonia’s make off tip off. Caledonia responded with a step back 3 of their own to swiftly retake the lead. Myah Pace connected from 3 once again a few minutes later as the link up play between Pace and her provider, Brooklyn Macalear-Fanus, seemed to be going strong early doors. It would be a whole 5 minutes later before Manchester would tally up points once more as Sydney Hunter struck a pair from the free throw line. In the time between, Caledonia were hitting Manchester hard on the interior, going to the rack each time and even drawing fouls in the process for traditional 3 point plays. Once Manchester got life back into their offense, Caledonia began to hit from range once more and racked up a 17 point lead in the final minute. Lauren Thomas-Johnson would cut this to a 13 point lead to end the quarter.
Manchester came alive in the 2nd quarter, outscoring the Gladiators 23-16. The Giants started to take Caledonia’s game to them, hammering them in the interior through Hannah Shaw who got the Giants a handful of much needed points to shift momentum. Big 3’s from Myah Pace and Idil Turk cut the lead to single digits before Leah McDerment put the Giants within reaching distance of Caledonia. Lauren Thomas-Johnson tacked on another 2 for Manchester at the buzzer and made it a 6 point deficit. The Giants headed into halftime with this game well within their reach.
Caledonia managed to rally in the 3rd quarter. The Scottish outfit hit first in the 2nd half before Myah Pace answered back with a 3 ball to make it a 4 point lead. Manchester came as close as a single possession to their opponents and were looking sure to retake the lead before Caledonia’s Roscoe notched up 4 points in back to back possessions and even stole the ball back for the second opportunity. Despite efforts from Hannah SHaw, Manchester’s offense began to sputter once more. Meanwhile, Roscoe of Caledonia hit a 3 and put the lead back to 7. Manchester would endure another dry spell of another 5 minutes which would prove to be more costly than the last. Caledonia re-established their 14 point lead once more before Brooklyn Macalear-Fanus and Lauren Thomas-Johnson hit their shots to end the 3rd quarter, Manchester were down by 13 entering the 4th.
Both teams shut each other out in the final quarter. A total of 13 points scored between both teams in 10 minutes where defensive efforts were more apparent as both teams struggled to break the other down. Manchester would endure another dry spell at the end of the 4th quarter as Lauren Thomas-Johnson hot from 2 point range with 4 minutes to go, that would be the last make from manchester all game before Caledonia would notch another 4 of their own to ensure a successful outcome for the East Kilbride outfit.
A very quick turnaround for both teams as they repeat this fixture in 25 hours as both teams head to East Kilbride and to the PlaySport Arena to commence part 2 of this heated contest. Tip off is scheduled for 3:00pm on February 11th and will be available to view via the Women's British Basketball League YouTube channel.