With a trio of games in D1W Saturday and two hugely important National Cup semi-finals on Sunday, week 16 was not to be missed for NBL fans!
With Anglia Ruskin turning their attention to the National Cup, Ipswich were able to beat Thames Valley 71-62 and grab sole possession of D1W's top spot.
Opening the game with a 27-15 1st quarter, Ipswich led the game almost from start to finish as their advantage passed the 20 point mark early in the 2nd half.
With Harriet Welham finishing on 22 points and Esther Little adding 16 more, Thames Valley were powerless to reel the hosts in despite an 18 point, 12 rebound double-double from Diana Voynova.
Nottingham Trent University were able to begin their double-header weekend in the best way possible as they beat Southwark Pride 69-52 on Saturday. A trip to the Capital didn't daunt NTU despite their Sunday fixture in the National Cup, leading from start to finish behind 19 points from Vicky Gray.
BA London Lions II's vital 68-63 road win over Loughborough creates a three way tie for the bottom spot in D1W, with the trio of sides all on four points. Locked at 52-52 heading into the final quarter, BA took their chance and stormed to victory behind a 20 point, 15 rebound double-double from Zahra-Diana Serrieh and 15 points from Lisa Greenaway.
Two highly enjoyable semi-finals played out on Sunday, with Nottingham Trent and Anglia Ruskin both punching their ticket to next month's National Cup final in Essex.
25 points from Arielle Jackson helped push Nottingham Trent University past Reading Rockets 71-65. Taking the opening quarter 20-15, NTU were able to build from there and hold on for the win. It'll be Nottingham's first ever appearance in the National Cup final, a worthy reward for a side that has only been in the NBL since 2016/17.
NTU will take on reigning D1W playoff champions Anglia Ruskin University after the Rhinos stole a dramatic road win against Bristol Flyers, coming out on top 66-65 after a period of OT. A 26-12 3rd quarter put the hosts firmly in control, only to see their opponents come roaring back for a famous victory.
3:00pm - Ipswich 71 - 62 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
4:20pm - Southwark Pride 52 - 69 Nottingham Trent University - LIVE STATS
4:30pm - Loughborough Riders 63 - 68 BA London Lions II - LIVE STATS
Five games make up week 17, with the bulk of the action taking place on Saturday.
There's plenty of intrigue at the top of the standings as Ipswich travel to Solent, and Anglia Ruskin face an in-form Nottingham Trent University in a dress rehearsal for the follow week's National Cup final.
Elsewhere, Bristol Academy Flyers welcome Southwark Pride and Loughborough entertain Thames Valley.
In Sunday's only fixture, Southwark cap their double header weekend as they take on Reading Rockets.
Main image credit - Nick Winter
18 Jan 2021