Asan Woori Bank pulled off a thrilling one-point come-from-behind victory over Cheongju KB in their first meeting of the season, thanks to a final buzzer-beater from transfer Myung-kwan Lee.
Woori Bank defeated KB 72-71 on Friday in its first home game of the 2023-24 women’s professional basketball season at Yi Sunshin Gymnasium in Asan, Chungcheongnam-do. Choi Yi-sam set a career-high with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and nine rebounds, while Kim Dan-bi (17 points) and Go Ah-ra (12 points) contributed. Lee Myung-kwan (9 points), who flies the nest from Samsung Life in Yongin, had an Altaoran-like performance and scored the final points.
With three straight wins to open the season, Woori Bank jumped out to a commanding lead and extended its regular-season winning streak to nine games against KB. The last time Woori Bank lost to KB in the regular season was in January 2022. With one loss after an opening two-game winning streak, KB dropped to second place along with Busan BNK and Samsung Life. KB, which held a 48-35 rebounding advantage, was led by Kang Is-ul with 26 points, including six three-pointers, and Park Ji-soo with 17 points and 24 rebounds, but came from behind.
Last season’s unified champion Woori Bank fell behind early in the game to KB, who had a healthy Park Ji-soo. They fell behind 18-27 in the first quarter alone, allowing Park to score 13 points and grab nine rebounds. But they didn’t collapse. From the second quarter on, they had two or three people defending Park Ji-soo and increased their rebounding focus. Also, whenever KB made a run, they kept up with them by shooting 3-pointers, including three in the second quarter and three in the third quarter. At one point in the third quarter, Woori Bank fell behind by 12 points, but held KB scoreless for more than five minutes in the early to mid-fourth quarter, using steals and blocks as leverage, while Park Ji-hyun (8 points), Choi Yi-sam, Go Ara, and Park Ji-hyun hit four consecutive three-pointers to turn the game around at 66-60.
Woori Bank extended the gap to eight points on a cut-in by Park Ji-hyun, but gave up back-to-back 3-pointers to Kang Yi-seul and a layup 토토 to Kim Min-jung (15 points) to tie the game at 68-68. Goara’s jumper put them back in front, but Lee Yoon-mi (3 points) knocked down a three-pointer to make it 70-71. However, Woori Bank seized the dramatic victory when Lee Myung-kwan hit an under-the-basket buzzer-beater on its final possession with 3.6 seconds left in the game.