St Mirren West College Scotland 64 v 49 Glasgow Fever

St Mirren West College Scotland Senior Women continued their fine run of form with a Scottish Cup Quarter-final victory against tough opponents Glasgow Fever at The Lagoon Leisure Centre before a large home crowd.   Although they had defeated their Glasgow opponents comfortably on league business last month, this was to be a tricky game with a place in the Semi-final up for grabs.  Missing Maddie Ingemarsson through injury, Saints started slowly, but despite some intense pressure, could not find a basket, before going behind to a quick breakaway and lay-up by former Saints player Kirsty Semple.  Play was end to end, without any scoring by either side, before Saints coach Chris Cleary called a time-out to settle his team.

It was almost 4 minutes into the game before St Mirren finally got on the board with Rebecca Cleary sinking two free throws.   Baskets from both Lauren McKinlay and Canadian Taryn Turnbull gave the home side some breathing space as they began to take command of the game forcing Fever to call a time out as they found themselves 8-2 down.   Saints kept up the pressure, with three pointers from both Lauren McKinlay and Rebecca Cleary saw Saints with a healthy 14-2 lead, before a late couple of baskets from Fever reduced the margin at the end of the 1st Period 14-7.

Saints started the 2nd Period well with a 3 pointer from inside player Lauren McKinlay, before a mini-fightback from Fever reduced the deficit to 17-12.  However, some superb shooting from the experienced Taryn Turnbull resulted in back to back 3 pointers had the home side stretching their lead, before some slick inter-passing let in Rebecca Cleary for another basket.  Some careless turn overs by the home side allowed Fever to get back on track, before St Mirren called a time-out, and managed to settle their defence still ahead 27-19 at Halftime.

Again, the home side started the second half well with Iona Ross picking the pocket of the Glasgow Guard to break and score.   Lauren McKinlay scored a free throw from the line, before an excellent 3-pointer from Rebecca Cleary gave Saints a 35-21 lead.  Fever staged another fightback with three quick baskets, before Turnbull and Cleary fired in two magnificent 3 pointers.  Saints trademark quick breaking and good inter-passing brought a basket for Anna Mitchell as the home side increased their lead to 42-27.  Both teams traded baskets before a couple of late baskets, one right on the buzzer, took the score to 44-35 at the end of the 3rd Period.

The 4th Period started briskly, with Fever’s Rosie Barr scored almost from the tip-off, before a fine solo effort from Saint’s Iona Ross restored the 9 point lead.   St Mirren started to exert real pressure on the Fever defence, but simply could not put away their chances, before a 3-pointer from Rebecca Cleary opened the flood gates.  Turnbull followed up with a fine drive and basket, and as she was fouled in the act of scoring, gratefully sunk the resultant free throw.   Frustration from Fever resulted in a series of four free throws to Saints, with Captain Rebecca Cleary sinking all four, before a late basket from Lauren McKinlay gave Saints an unassailable lead of 64-47 with seconds left on the clock.  Unfortunately, a late slip allowed Fever’s Julie Duff to score a late basket right on the buzzer.   Final Score 64-49 saw St Mirren advance to the Scottish Cup Semi-finals.

Saints’ top scorer was Captain Rebecca Cleary on 26 points Taryn Turnbull and Nicole Lauren McKinlay both with 16 points.    Saints next fixture is a long trip to the Kingdom of Fife for an away fixture against St Andrew’s University this coming Friday.  Tip-off 8pm.

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