RECAP: Flynn & Williamson combine for 40pts to see home big win
July 13, 2019
A stunning combined 40-point display from Katie Williamson and Abby Flynn helped drive Ireland to a superb 61-52 point win over Switzerland in their 9-12 place classification game at the FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship Division B this evening.
It wasn’t just on the offensive end that they shone, with Flynn in particular finishing with a 20-point game, along with nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals, while Debbie Ogayemi also stood out with a 13-point game, five rebounds, two assists and three steals.
The win now sees Ireland into the 9-10th place classification game tomorrow [Sunday] against old foes, Slovakia, who will be on the hunt for revenge after losing to Ireland in a thriller in the group stages.
This evening’s win was by no means easy for the women in green though as, despite the good performances from Flynn, Williamson and Ogayemi, the game was in the melting pot throughout. Ireland had the better of the opening exchanges, dominating the first quarter to lead 16-8 thanks to scores from Flynn, Williamson and Ogayemi. Indeed hard work on the offensive end from the Irish saw the Swiss in foul trouble early on, with nine of Ireland’s end of quarter 16-point tally coming from the free throw line.
Switzerland were merely finding their feet though, and momentum swung in their favour in the early part of the second quarter, as they kept Ireland off the scoring for almost six minutes. The Irish made them work hard for their scores though, with solid defense from the women in green, but within that six-minute period, they had taken the lead 19-16. A huge three-pointer from Flynn leveled proeedings and opened Ireland’s account for the quarter with four minutes to go, and a score from Ogayemi, followed by a steal and score from Flynn edged them up by four. Switzerland responded though, and tied the game again moments later, before Katie Walshe and Williamson rounded off the quarter in style to see Ireland into a 27-23 point lead at the half.
A nervy third quarter followed, with Switzerland’s Ymke Brouwer causing trouble for the Irish defense while the size of the Swiss under the boards was also causing some issues inside, and the lead changed four times in the period. Scores from Ogayemi early on kept the board ticking over, but a big three at the other end saw the Swiss retake the lead. They added another two points to stretch the lead to three, but Flynn, Ogayemi and Flynn again responded as the lead changed three times in a minute and a half. A strong finish to the quarter from Walshe and Williamson once more saw Ireland maintain their four-point cushion, 45-41, going into the last.
Despite the Swiss' size under the boards trying to dominate the fourth, Ireland got off to a blistering start, with scores from Williamson and Flynn pushing them into a 51-45 point lead. Ogayemi added a basket and was on hand to deliver a pinpoint perfect assist to Flynn moments later to stretch the lead to 10. Switzerland pulled one back at the other end, but quick hands from Ogayemi once more set up Williamson for a score, and with the Swiss in foul trouble, free throws dominated the closing minutes. Despite a big three from Switzerland as the clock ticked down, Ireland pushed on to win 61-52 in the end.
Speaking afterwards, assistant coach Karl Kilbride said: “We're delighted with the result, and happy with the performance. We put in trojan work there today, the girls worked incredibly hard. We took away their main threats, we had a great start to the game and got them in foul trouble early. We won all of the hustle… We’ve a big game against Slovakia now. They’ve been shooting the ball really well. It’ll come down to the finest of margins, and hopefully we’ll get some rest and recovery. Wins are hard to come by in Europe - we have five of them now and our next goal is a sixth."
The squad now face old rivals Slovakia in the 9/10th place classification game at 3.30pm Irish time tomorrow [Sunday].
IRELAND: Abby Flynn (20), Niamh Kenny, Alex Mulligan (3), Debbie Ogayemi (13), Katie Williamson (20), Lauren Darcy, Ciara Byrne, Mia Furlong, Erin Maguire, Siofra O’Shea, Ciara Tolan, Katie Walshe (5).
Ireland U18 Women’s Result
Saturday, July 13th
Classification 9-12th place
Ireland 61-52 Switzerland
WATCH BACK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qiLoKdWOdk