Birmingham Women’s 2nds were able to get their second league win of the season in a convincing 54-47 victory against the University of Nottingham 2nds at UB Sport and Fitness.
Following a home win last week against De Montfort in the Midlands cup, the girls were keen to gain some momentum for their league campaign, having started the season with a 1-3 record. The confidence from that victory was apparent, as Birmingham made a strong start to the game with Harthorne-Khan and Morrison scoring some early points.
Nottingham called an early time-out after Robinson got a steal and drove into the paint for the layup with the score at 8-6. Gonzalez at point was looking very dangerous in the opening quarter, and with the hosts up by 10, the coach was able to rotate heavily and keep his starters fresh. Harthorne-Khan continued to look dangerous, and it was 14-10 Birmingham at the end of the first quarter.
It may have been the rotation that affected the Lionesses, as Nottingham went on a 10-0 run and tied up the score at 14-14 early in the second quarter. A few of the starters including Gonzalez and Harthone-Khan came back on and Birmingham restored their lead, with a particular highlight being Gonzalez converting a slick fastbreak to make it 23-16.
The Birmingham defence only got stronger as the quarter went on, and managed to keep their score ticking over, with Gonzalez and Simpson putting up some good points. The high-scoring quarter came to a close and the score was 33-20 to Birmingham, who looked well in control of the game, despite the score being level earlier in the quarter.
Half-time came at the right time for the away side, who started the third quarter very well, managing to reduce the deficit to 6 points. The Birmingham coach again chose to bring on most of his starters to quell the flow of points, and this seemed to work as they flexed their muscles and extended the lead to 11, before finishing the quarter very strongly with the score at 45-33.
Harthone-Khan again looked like she was the player making things happen for Birmingham as the final quarter began, and with Hadley looking strong on defence with some good rebounds and blocks, it seemed as though the Lionesses were going to come away with an easy win.
This was not the case, as Nottingham had a flurry of scoring plays, and suddenly the score was tied at 47-47 with momentum in the away team’s favour. The home coach again put his starters back in, and they rewarded him by putting 5 unanswered points on the board late in the quarter.
The icing on the cake for Birmingham was birthday girl Emily Simpson getting the final 2 points, leaving the final score at a respectable 54-47 for the Lionesses. Although at times Nottingham looked troublesome, they never held a lead in the game and it was a well-executed game-plan from Birmingham to get a deserved win.