Barking Abbey earn Copper Box win on BBC TV!
PUBLISHED: 08:45 28 January 2017
Barking Abbey 82 Oaklands Wolves 74
Barking Abbey Crusaders claimed their second win in the WBBL Trophy after beating Oaklands Wolves in front of the BBC Sport cameras at the Copper Box Arena last night.
The impressive Imani Whittington knocked down five triples in a 27-point haul for Abbey in the televised action, with Savannah Wilkinson added a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds and Tereza Brantlova also weighing in with 17 points.
But despite the win, head coach Mark Clark had mixed feelings about the game.
“I think it showed everything that’s good about us and everything that frustrates me about us,” said Clark.
“We were very good, executed very well at the beginning of the game, our defensive rules, we followed everything. Then we have these moments that we decide not to execute fully and get off the page. And while we’re young, we’re not quite good enough to do that yet.”
GB’s Kyla Nelson put up an impressive 33 points to lead the Wolves, but they were unable to come away with the victory.
“Kyla got going, she played really well and it made it a game,” added Clark.
“They’ve always got a shooter’s chance because they get up shots, but once we’re up, with Diana on the floor, with Charlotte playing well, we can control the game.
“And in the end that’s what we did, we controlled it for most of the second half without being great. Our shooting percentages on the inside were poor and if we’d have shot well on the inside we would have been comfortable.
“One more win and we’re in the semi-final.”
Abbey raced into an 8-0 start, before Nelson fired in back-to-back triples to get her side going out of a timeout.
But a 12-0 run for Barking Abbey followed as they established a 15-point lead by the end of the first period.
Having scored all of her side’s points in the opening 10 minutes, Nelson continued to lead Oaklands and found scoring support from Ashton Fleming as her triple cut the gap to six at 33-27.
Abbey went into half-time with a seven-point cushion and restored their double-digit gap in the third when Whittington netted from downtown.
Whittington banked in another three to beat the buzzer to put the Abbey up 62-53 ahead of the final quarter.
And although Nelson continued to spark her side and passed 30 points in the fourth as Oaklands closed to within five, Barking Abbey closed out the win.
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