Caledonia Pride came crashing back to earth following the euphoria of last month’s WBBL Cup semi-final victory as the Edinburgh side lost 78-57 at third-placed Sheffield Hatters on Sunday evening.
Coach Bart Sengers’ team looked a little rusty after a three-week Christmas break and trailed by seven points at the end of the opening quarter. They trimmed the gap to five by half-time and spirits were soaring when they levelled at 36-all early in the third quarter.
It proved to be the pivotal moment in the match, however, as Hatters then put together a 17-3 run. The lead continued to grow in the closing stages, and although American duo Tricia Oakes (13 points plus 11 rebounds) and Rosie Reynolds (11 points) posted respectable figures for the visitors, they were swamped by two outstanding displays from Sheffield’s Gianna Woods (25 points) and Lauren Gregory (16 rebounds).
Pride remain in the bottom half of the WBBL table following their seventh defeat of the season, but they can improve their 3-7 record this Saturday evening when Cardiff Archers come to Edinburgh University.
A repeat of October’s Cup victory in Wales would be most welcome ahead of the Cup Final against Nottingham Wildcats in Birmingham at the end of the month.