Oaklands Wolves continue their history making run as Durham are mauled at home

PUBLISHED: 13:39 30 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:05 01 February 2018

Rachel Morris shoots for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Rachel Morris shoots for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

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Having made history earlier in season with their first win, Oaklands Wolves made further franchise history by winning back to back games in the Women’s British Basketball League for the first time – as well as their first success at home.

Ciara Belsham drives for the hoop for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANOCiara Belsham drives for the hoop for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Last week’s 69-63 success at BA London Lions was followed up by a 90-71 victory over Durham Palatinates at Oaklands College on Saturday afternoon.

The result pulls Wolves level on points with Cardiff Met Archers in eighth place as the teams battle for the final play-off place in the WBBL end-of-season showpiece.

That battle promises to be an exciting one with the two sides meeting in Wales on Saturday.

But with new-found confidence and playing style, Oaklands will be looking forward to the clash.

Tia Freeman in action for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANOTia Freeman in action for Oaklands Wolves against Durham Palatinates in the WBBL. Picture: LELLO AMETRANO

Against Durham the Wolves got off to a strong start, led by American centre Rachel Morris who finished the game with a season high of 24 points and eight rebounds.

Durham took the lead through the second quarter but the renewed resilience of Oaklands was clear to see as they tied the game at 39-39 heading into the locker room at the half.

The Wolves came out playing on the front foot in the third period, their energy and high tempo proving to much for the visitors who struggled to keep pace with the hosts throughout the second half, being outscored 51-32.

But with Oaklands shooting at a season high 50 per cent from the three-point line, it was the fourth quarter which proved crucial as they stretched a four-point lead into a 19 one by the buzzer.

Head Coach Lee Ryan was very pleased about the whole encounter, however.

He said: “We knew we had to raise our level to win this crucial game and the players were terrific.

“This was our best game of the year so far.

“The most pleasing part was our performance, especially the adjustments the players made in the second period.

“We have seen a real change since the start of 2018, the players understanding and execution is now catching up to their commitment, and there is still room to grow.”

Oaklands finish February with two home games.

London Lions head to Hertfordshire for their return fixture on February 17 while Sheffield Hatters are in town a week later.

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