21 September, 2023
10 April, 2024
44 Karlie Samuelson (LDN)
Game Report
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A drama worthy of London theatre: Lions prevail in thriller to claim EuroCup Women title

LONDON (Great Britain) - London Lions entered their names into the annals of British basketball history in reversing a seven-point first leg deficit to overcome Besiktas 81-70 in a thriller for the ages to and claim the EuroCup Women 2024 title - the first trophy in the country's history.

The drama at the Copper Box in London was high all evening as the aggregate lead went back and forth throughout. London came into the game down seven points on aggregate after losing 75-68 in the first leg in Istanbul.

London led nearly the entire game and were only secured victory with Megan Gustafson's free throws with 3.3 seconds to secure a 149-145 aggregate win.

Turning Point:
With the game on the line, Besiktas were without the star duo of Jovana Nogic and Yueru Li - who both fouled out - and head coach Aziz Akkaya, who was ejected with a second technical foul with 2:05 minutes left.

The magic number of seven was on everyone's minds and London pushed ahead 73-63 only to see Dana Evans hit a three-pointer and then feed an assist to Elif Bayram and Besiktas were back ahead on aggregate.

The basketball gods just kept giving and Sheylani Peddy hit a triple of her own only to see Evans convert a layup. But London's Holly Winterburn came up big just like in the first leg with a three-pointer to make it 79-70 with 15 seconds left.

On the ensuing Besiktas possession, Mihaela Lazic threw the ball to Karlie Samuelson and Gustafson would end up going to the line to ice the game and the title - sending the Copper Box and British basketball into wild celebrations.

Game Heroes: London had four players with great games and each of them had their moments. Temi Fagbenle however was outstanding all night for London as the center not only collected 17 points but she also grabbed 8 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 1 steal.

Stats Don't Lie:  Besiktas were held to just 36.6 percent shooting for the game while London shot 51.9 percent on the night. The guests also received 0 points from Nogic and Li in the final 11 minutes. The duo combined to averaged 29.9 points during the season but could not handle foul trouble.

Bottom Line:  London became the first British team to win the EuroCup Women crown and they are the 17th different club to hoist the trophy in 20 editions.