Blackout has Wolves dancing in the dark as Nottingham cruise to easy win
PUBLISHED: 19:30 29 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 01 March 2020
Oaklands Wolves were left scrambling in the dark as they fell to a 76-61 defeat at home to Nottingham Wildcats in the WBBL.
The club used the contest to hold another blackout night where supporters were encouraged to come dressed in black and cheer the home team on.
But the young squad, who have been ravaged by injury in the last few weeks, could not give them the victory they craved.
This was always going to be a season of transition but after a promising start to the campaign, results and performances have slowly started to falter and it is now a case of seeing the mental fortitude that the Oaklands side have.
The blackout did work though in one respect, attracting a big crowd inside the Oaklands Sportszone who were more than happy to make a lot of noise from the off, and they had plenty of opportunities to do just that with the home side landing a number of three-pointers in the first-half.
That was more as a matter of necessity because they were either not allowed to get inside the circle or simply chose not to.
They only had five shots in the opening 20 minutes of the game from two-point range and were reliant on the big efforts or free-throws to stay in touch.
Head coach Lee Ryan wasn't happy with the other end of the court either as Wolves' defence wasn't as clinical or as strong as it needed to be.
Former Oaklands star Tia Freeman was among those causing mayhem with strong drives while Jasmine Joyner claimed four out of a total of nine attacking rebounds, as compared to 11 defensive boards from the home side.
It allowed Nottingham to stretch a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter into a 10-point one by the end of the half.
The lack of shooting and weak defending continued to hurt them after the break.
Siobhan Prior was allowed to walk in without too much hindrance from the black shirts early on and they ended up only bagging 13 points across the period.
They did look as if they would stir themselves at one point, one good rebound from Louise Rouse among them, and with Anneke Schlueter leading the way they cut the deficit to just six with less than six minutes to go.
But it never truly got to the stage where Nottingham looked out of control and after regrouping they put the squeeze on.
And bar a late run, another disappointing 10 minutes in terms of shooting closed out the contest for the Wolves as the Wildcats pulled clear.
Oaklands Wolves: Schlueter 23, Abbott 16, Harrison 13, Kiploks 4, Milligan 3, Fulop 2.
Nottingham Wildcats: Costa 18, Prior 16, Joyner 11, Adesuwa 10, Freeman 9, Russell 7, Rose 3, Olawoyin 2.
Q1: Oaklands Wolves 16 Nottingham Wildcats 19
Q2: Oaklands Wolves 35 Nottingham Wildcats 45
Q3: Oaklands Wolves 48 Nottingham Wildcats 63
Q4: Oaklands Wolves 61 Nottingham Wildcats 76