Women's Basketball: Toeaina's points help Hatters reach cup final for first time

Manchester Mystics 63-93 Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters have booked their ticket to the the WBBL Cup Final after beating 2017 winners Manchester Mystics 93-63.Â

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:33 pm
Sheffield Hatters 2018/19 Back row L to R: Sarah Toeaina, Luiana Livulo, David Capper, Naomi Campbell, Helen Naylor. Front row L to R: Levke Brodersen, Nerea Inguez, Ana Santana, Alison Gorrell.

It was an impressive away victory for the Hatters and the result made it seven straight victories in all competitions for the Sheffield side.

It is the first time Hatters have qualified for the Cup Final, and they will meet the winners of Leicester Riders and Sevenoaks Suns at Arena Birmingham on Sunday 27 January 2019.

After a close first quarter in Manchester, Hatters broke the game open with a 14-2 surge early in the second stanza when Helen Naylor scored five points among five different scorers, for a double-digit lead at 32-22.

Another 8-0 spell followed, as Alison Gorrell scored consecutively for 42-26, and the lead was well through 20 points when Naylor netted a pair of three-pointers late in the third.

The Hatters moved the ball much better than their hosts and ended with 27 assists compared to just 17 for Mystics, with Alison Gorrell and Levke Brodersen handing out eight assists each.

The duo of Sarah Toeaina (27) and Luiana Livulo (25) combined for more than half of Sheffield's points, with both grabbing eight rebounds each and Livulo also blocking a startling six shots. Toeaina shot an astonishing 13-15 (86%) at the free-throw line.

Livulo's display earned the Portugese player selection to the All Star team-of-the week ranks.

Helen Naylor added 18 points.

Toeaina was delighted with the victory. She said: 'We're so humbled and excited to play in the Cup Finals as it's the club's first appearance. It's great seeing the hard work we put in during our practices come to past. We compete every time we step foot on the court and push each other to get better.'