Carnegie’s offense found its rhythm early on as Paul Holland opened the game up with a three pointer. Westminster battled hard and look to isolate Carnegie’s defense for one on one opportunities. Leeds however had the better of the opening quarter exchanges and took a 4 point lead.
The second quarter become more defensively focused for both teams as Westminster stepped up their zone whilst Leeds looked to increase their on ball pressure. Leeds secured a 2 point lead to take into the half time break on the back of a Mikulic three from the corner with less than 10 seconds to go.
Carnegie continued to stretch Westminster’s zone by great perimeter passing and sublime shooting from Mikulic. Westminster however continued to use their size and athleticism as they looked to dominate the interior. These alternate styles seemed to counter one another out as Leeds entered the final period with a 3 point lead.
Westminster changed up to a man defense for the final quarter as they looked to force Carnegie in errors. The Warriors continued to find easy baskets cutting hard to the basket which enabled them to secure the lead with just over 6 minutes to play.
Leeds battled hard to regain the lead and a corner three pointer from Stannard gave them a 2 point lead with 2:38 to play. Carnegie sealed the win on a great defensive stand from Anebo securing the offensive foul followed by a perimeter basket from McGinn, giving Leeds a 7 point lead with 44 seconds to play. Carnegie saw out the closing moments comfortably securing a vital 76-67 win.
Leeds scoring was led by 23 points from Branimir Mikulic, supported by Armand Anebo with 20 points. Westminster’s Jonathon Johnson led their scoring with 18 points.
Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Matt Newby said “We came into this knowing it was a must win and the opposition had a s similar agenda. I thought we did not show out until the last five minutes as a team and struggled to contain their rebounding effort. However we once again witnessed a strong shooting display from Branimir Mikulic and were buoyed by the return of form from Paul Holland and Josh Metcalf”
Leeds completed the double win weekend with a trip to Tees Valley Mohawks on Sunday. They came away 63-73 winners on the back of some sharp shooting from Paul Holland, who notched up a season high 22 points.
Coach Newby was pleased with the result saying “Tees Valley have a really strong team and real depth in personnel. We had an inconsistent performance on the offensive end of the floor but defensively made huge gains. Paul Holland was a catalyst for several big runs and stopping any momentum Tees Valley would attempt to gain. On the whole we got the job done even when sometimes it wasn’t pretty”
Carnegie will now prepare for next week’s critical home game against Leicester Warriors. Leeds will be looking to continue their winning form and expect another bumper crowd. Tickets are available through the club’s website with a limited number on the door.
At the end of the 1st Quarter, the Arena was delighted to pay tribute to Leeds Carnegie Women who are unbeaten so far this season and who last week defeated Brixton Topcats to win the National Trophy and they also secured the League Title.
mikeshaft.com says congratulations to all concerned.
Story – Leeds Carnegie
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