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Overtime heartache for Wolves

Oaklands Wolves hopes of competition in the British League play-offs hang by a thread after a 91-86 overtime loss against Essex Rebels on Saturday evening.

A capacity crowd at Sportszone saw a thriller but it will be little consolation to coach Lee Ryan as his side now travel to Durham on Saturday knowing they need to win and hope Manchester Giants lose at Newcastle later the same the day if they are to bag a place in the post-season.

Allison Day had a massive night for the hosts, finishing with a 33-point, 16-rebound double-double as she played the whole game, while Beth Sarson added 17 points and seven assists. Shaq Wade had 16 points to go with her six rebounds but it was a tough night for leading scorer Ri Thompson who was limited to 11 points and four rebounds as she also played all 45 minutes.

With a place in the post-season on the line, the home side could feel aggrieved about a couple of shot decisions down the stretch in regulation time but ultimately they had no answer to Dayzsha Rogan and Katherine Tudor who combined for 60 points for the Rebels

Wade opened the scoring for Wolves and they looked comfortable against the fifth placed visitors as Fab Zere gave them a 17-13 lead with three first period minutes on the clock before Rebels answered with 13 straight points and it took a Wade lay-up to cut the deficit to 26-19 at the opening break.

Wolves trailed for most of the second period before three-point plays from Day, Sarson and Claire Abbott tied the game at 40 before shots from Thompson and Day gave the home side a narrow 44-43 half-time lead.

Wade again hit the first basket to get Wolves off to a good start in the third period but with Thompson and Sarson splitting pairs of free-throws, Essex finished the quarter on an 8-2 run to lead 66-60 going into the fourth period.

Rebels stayed ahead until the 4:27 mark when Day's lay-up tied the game at 70. Claire Paxton put the visitors ahead at the foul line before Wade answered, only for Paxton to again hit a pair of free-throws. Day - inevitably tied the game with the final basket of regulation time, and although both Wade and Paxton had chances to win the game it went into an extra five minutes with the teams tied on 76.

Rogan opened the extra period scoring, only to draw a technical foul to allow Day to halve the lead but despite Day hitting a triple Wolves were never able to edge in front during the additional time until Day converted Sarson's assist to put her side up 86-84 with 77 seconds on the clock. Paxton levelled before Rogan hit a dagger three and Wolves were forced to foul to stop the clock as the visitors wrapped up the win.

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