WNBL1 preview: 16/17 March - live streams, stats and more

Ipswich are on the verge of their first D1W regular-season title since 2020/21.

The Suffolk side can secure top spot with a win at home to Bristol tomorrow or a Thames Valley loss at Brent on Sunday.

The battle for playoff spots is also on the agenda, with fifth down to nine separated by just six points.

We take a look at all the weekend's action below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page.

Endeavour Ipswich Basketball (17-3) vs Bristol Academy Flyers (8-12)

Ipswich can treat their home fans to a title-winning performance tomorrow as they entertain Bristol Academy Flyers.

The Suffolk side have played like champions all season, and their 88.9PPG on offence is over 16 points more than second placed Thames Valley.

That offensive force is powered by Harriet Welham, with the talented guard sinking another 35 points last time out to take her average to 25.8PPG on the year.

That will present a tough problem for this weekend's opponents Bristol, who are in a fight with Anglia Ruskin and Manchester for seventh, eighth and ninth.

The Flyers allow a respectable 60.8PPG, but lost 82-61 when these sides met last December and a repeat performance could be on the cards this weekend.

Even if it is, Bristol can still be pleased with their campaign to date. Improving from a 7-15 record and tenth place last season, the Flyers have formed a solid core that can compete at this level and that should stand them in good stead moving forward.

Cristina Bigica (14.8PPG), Hannah Wallace (12.8PPG) and Kim Kheing (9.8PPG, 3.2APG) have all had solid seasons, with the likes of Leila Jepson, Mara Marchizotti and Veronica Iweanya also contributing when needed.

Bigica looks to be sidelined with an injury that could see her miss the remainder of the regular season, and her absence has been a blow to Bristol's recent form, they've gone 2-3 across their last five.

Ipswich can get the party started early tomorrow, winning D1W with games to spare before turning their attention to the post-season. Bristol would love to play spoiler, but it'll be a tall order.


Elsewhere this weekend

Proceedings get under way with Loughborough Riders (11-8) travelling to Barking Abbey (6-13), who have shipped over 100 points back-to-back games. The Londoners will be looking for a reset on defence if they're to avoid a forth defeat in a row.

The bottom two meet in the West Midlands with nothing but pride to play for as Team Solent Kestrels (1-18) head to City of Birmingham Rockets (3-17), before Saturday's schedule is finished off by CoLA Southwark Pride's (14-5) trip to Reading Rockets (9-7) for what should be an exciting contest.

Sunday sees both those teams doubling up, with CoLA heading home to wait for Anglia Ruskin University, (8-10) whilst Reading are on the road in the North West against Manchester Mystics (8-11).

That just leaves a top three contest between Brent Bulls (14-6) and Thames Valley Cavaliers (15-4). Since the title race could be tied up tomorrow, that clash on Sunday may be for playoff seeding, rather than trying to reel in the league leaders.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 16 March

3pm - Barking Abbey vs Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

3:30pm - Endeavour Ipswich Basketball vs Bristol Academy Flyers - LIVE STATS

5pm - City of Birmingham Rockets vs Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Reading Rockets vs CoLA Southwark Pride - LIVE STATS

Sunday 17 March

2:15pm - CoLA Southwark Pride vs Anglia Ruskin University - LIVE STATS

4pm - Brent Bulls vs Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

5:30pm - Manchester Mystics vs Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Richard Leach