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Sevenoaks Suns fell to just their fourth defeat of the season and first since early November following a 62-44 loss at the Leicester Riders.

It was a special day for the WBBL, as a record crowd of 1,312 was in attendance to watch the two teams battle it out.

Despite Araion Bradshaw’s team high of 17 points, the team struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm throughout the game, following a promising first quarter.

The Suns were the team in the ascendency in the opening period, with Bradshaw recording 12 of her 17 within those 10 minutes. They also played some aggressive defense, forcing their opponents into tough shots and restricting them to just 28% efficiency from the field.

However, the 20 first quarter points was as good as it got for the visitors, as they went on to record single digit totals in the three subsequent periods, whilst being unable to contain the potent offense of their hosts.

Down by seven heading into the second, the Riders soon got back into the game, courtesy of a major shooting slump from the Suns. The Riders themselves struggled to begin the quarter, but seven scoreless minutes from the away side allowed them to take the lead before Bradshaw managed to end the drought with a layup which levelled the score at half-time.

A six-point quarter was soon followed by a nine-point period, as the Suns just couldn’t get the ball through the hoop, and it allowed the Riders to finally gain some separation and momentum as the game went on. They caught fire from beyond the arc as three successive makes put them up by seven. Brittany Hodges gave the Suns good production from the bench, but her six points was all their backups could muster, which when compared to their Leicester counterparts, did not help their offensive difficulties. Six bench points to 25 proved crucial in the final score.

However, only down by six points with one quarter left, the Suns had plenty of time to turn things around and take the win. Unfortunately, the shooting slump continued and the lead kept extending, with a deficit of as many as 22 with a minute to go. A pair of free throws each for Renee Busch and Julia Koppl meant the game finished in an 18-point defeat.

Coach Len Busch and his side will quickly look to put this game behind them as they look to get back to winning ways in a home matchup against the Nottingham Wildcats.

Author: Angelia Ronayne

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