Oriam pride of British Basketball League – Northumbria coach

Team Northumbria coach Chris Bunten was impressed by the facilities at Oriam. Pic: Kevin Murray

Team Northumbria coach Chris Bunten was impressed by the facilities at Oriam. Pic: Kevin Murray

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Team Northumbria head coach Chris Bunten has described Oriam as “the best venue in the league” after his injury-ravaged team escaped Edinburgh with a 77-71 overtime win over Caledonia Pride in the Women’s BBL Trophy.

“It’s the best supported and they are doing this the right way with all the junior teams training there on the same day,” he added.

The Newcastle-based side, who were short of five regulars, must have heaved a collective sign of relief after they climbed out of a hole to deprive Pride of their first win of the campaign.

Pride had a superb second quarter which they took 23-10 to lead 32-23 at half-time with guard Natalie Bastian and forward Sarah Thomson both hitting threes, the latter also going “coast to coast” for a lay-up and three-point play which took the lead to double figures.

But the visitors grabbed back the initiative after the interval and reduced the gap to two going into the last quarter before proving too strong in the extra five minutes.

Home coach Bart Sengers did not have a long bench to call on and was without starter Hannah Peacock, who had seen a foot injury flare up.

Tricia Oakes, his usual go-to centre, picked up a fourth foul in the third and, when she did return, missed four free throws before fouling out.

Thomson, however, struck on the buzzer to tie the scores 65-65 and ended with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Oakes had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Bastian had 19 points.

In addition, Kirsten Simpson had her best game to date, playing 30 minutes with seven points, six rebounds and a block while Hannah Robb looked right up to speed when she came in for 30 minutes, scoring eight points.

In a game spoiled by the dismissal of their captain Craig Reilly for two technical fouls, Edinburgh Kings blew their faint hopes of capturing the Scottish League title when they went down 68-56 to St Mirren after leading 51-50 with eight minutes to go at Portobello High School.

Kings have now lost four games while Saints and Boroughmuir Blaze have lost three.

Falkirk Fury, with only two games left, have lost only once.