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WBBL: Barking Abbey London Lions better in latest loss

PUBLISHED: 08:05 16 January 2018

BA London Lions players listen to coach Mark Clark (pic Graham Hodges)

BA London Lions players listen to coach Mark Clark (pic Graham Hodges)

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Barking Abbey London Lions gave a much-improved display in their 78-65 loss to WBBL rivals Leicester Riders.

Winless Abbey were just one score behind their rivals heading into the final quarter, but the Riders produced a 12-2 run to pull clear.

Christina Gaskin led Abbey with 16 points, while Urysla Cotton had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Zoe Willis added 12 points.

Head coach Mark Clark said: “I’m much happier with the performance. We gave ourselves a chance when we tied it up at the end of the third.

“When it came to being in a tight game we looked like a team that has 0 in the win column, but it’s a big step forward and sets us up for a series of games that I think might get our season moving forward.”

Abbey return to action when they host Oaklands on Friday (7pm).

The Division One women went down 76-39 against reigning champions Southwark Pride, as Dami Adeyinka (13) and Elizabeth Ezan (seven) led their scoring.

Head coach Karen Burton said: “In the first half we played some of the best basketball we’ve played so far, against a very good Southwark team.

“Being five points down at the half, I’m disappointed we didn’t contest the game longer. We have to win some games to get away from the bottom and we know the ones we have to take care of, so that’s our main focus.”

Abbey will look to bounce back when they travel to Reading on Saturday (3.30pm).

There was better news for partner club Kent Crusaders, who beat Manchester Magic 85-80 in their Division One meeting in Barking.

Caleb Fuller impressed with a 30-point haul, as the hosts took the second quarter 29-16 to build a cushion for the second half.

Pierce Maslen had 22 points and seven assists, while Dwaye Orija (10) also hit double figures.

Coach Lloyd Gardner said: “It was a great game for us. We played really well through large stretches, we felt it has been a performance that was coming for us. It gives us good signs moving forward.”

Crusaders travel to Bradford on Saturday (6.15pm).

The Division Four men split their games, beating Cambridge Cats 104-63 before a 93-79 loss to East London All Stars in the National Shield.

Ade Adebayo, Robin Bedford and Spyros Kapsalos all scored 16 points for Abbey in the defeat at UEL.

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