Shanice Beckford-Norton was awarded the MVP of the WBBL Play-off Final after she tied the scoring record in the showpiece game with a haul of 30 points as London Lions beat Newcastle Eagles 93-71 live on Sky Sports.
The Londoner added eight rebounds and four assists to that tally, knocking down 2-3 three-pointers, both of which came at key times in the game.
In fact, Beckford-Norton was instrumental in the decisive run in a number of ways as she hit a huge four-point play before finding Chantel Charles inside for another score as part of a 13-0 third quarter surge that settled the tie. In total she had 10 points in the third period as Lions took a double-digit lead from which they wouldn’t look back.
Elected to the Molten WBBL Defensive Team of the Year earlier in the week, the guard is renowned for her defence and aggression at both ends, and she also nabbed three steals and drew eight fouls in the contest, making 12-14 at the free-throw line.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Beckford-Norton commented:
“It feels great. To be honest, the entire time my teammates were supporting me – even me and Cassie hugged a couple of times in the game – and they’ve been that supportive throughout the season, so I owed it to them to have this game today.
“Everybody needed to play their role and we came out and stuck to the game plan, stuck to what each player needed to do. We did it, and we completed the job. Every practice has prepared us for the challenge we had today.
“I owed it to my teammates to play hard today for the entire forty minutes and they supported me. The support is unreal, they’re just there for me. We played as a unit, we played as a team, and I cannot express that enough.”
As a Barking Abbey junior product, who has returned to London after four years at Louisiana State University and a professional stint in Germany, Head Coach Mark Clark was clearly proud speaking to Sky Sports:
“The great thing about this one is that it’s the beginning of something, because the organisation wants to do something big in British basketball. Shanice epitomises that, as she was a junior with us in Barking, along with Chantel, and so that completes a cycle.
“She is integral to today’s win and she sets the tone for what we do defensively. Today, not only did she do that defensively, but she carried us at both ends of the floor and led at both ends of the floor.”