‘Unexpectedly tough’ Woori Bank defeats Shinhan Bank thanks to Choi Yi-Sam and Park Ji-Hyun

Asan Woori Bank pulled off a dramatic victory over Incheon Shinhan Bank, which was missing ace Kim Sonia. The concentration of Woori’s Choi Yi-sam and Park Ji-hyun in the final minutes of the game proved to be the difference.

Woori Bank earned a three-point victory over home team Shinhan Bank, 68-65, in the second round of the 2023-2024 Woori WON Women’s Professional Basketball League at Dowon Gymnasium in Incheon on Monday. With the victory, Woori Bank won its third straight game to improve to 9-1 on the season and take sole possession of first place. Shinhan Bank, 텍사스홀덤 on the other hand, was unable to hold off a late Woori comeback and lost its second straight game, falling to 9-1 on the season. They remain at the bottom of the league standings.

Before the game, it was expected that the power difference would be huge. Shinhan Bank’s ace, Kim Sonia, was unable to play due to flu symptoms. However, Shinhan showed strong focus in the early stages of the game and put pressure on Woori Bank. In the first quarter, the outside shooting of Kim Jin-young, Goo Seul, and Lee Doo-na kept Woori in the game. Veteran Lee Kyung-eun also made a three-pointer at the 6:52 mark of the first quarter when Woori was trailing 5-10. The first quarter ended with Woori Bank holding a narrow lead, 26-23. With the score tied at 21-21, Park Ji-hyun’s three-pointer with 1:11 left in the quarter gave the team the lead.

In the second quarter, both teams went cold, with Shinhan scoring only 10 points due to extremely poor shooting percentages. Woori Bank extended its lead to 13 points with 1:30 left in the period, thanks to a three-pointer by Lee Myung-kwan and consecutive baskets by Byun Ha-jung and Park Hye-jin.

After a sluggish first half, Woori Bank’s offense came alive in the second half. Kim Dan-bi, Park Hye-jin, and Park Ji-hyun scored back-to-back baskets to create a double-digit lead at 46-35 with 6:17 left in the third quarter. The game was effectively decided at this point. Shinhan Bank tried to catch up with the outside shooting of Kim Jin-young and Lee Doo-na, but the success rate was low. By the end of the third quarter, Woori Bank led 51-40.

However, in the fourth quarter, Shinhan Bank made a comeback. Especially after Woori’s ace, Kim Dan-bi, fouled out with five fouls with 5:28 left in the game. After Gandanbi’s absence, Lee Da-yeon hit two three-pointers in a row to make it 57-59. Lee Kyung-eun hit a three-pointer with 3:17 left to make it 62-61, and another three-pointer by Lee made it 65-63 with 2:28 to go.

However, they lost their focus in the closing minutes. Woori Bank immediately made it 66-65 on an inside score and free throw by Choi Yi-Sam with 41 seconds left in regulation, and then Park Ji-Hyun made two free throws with 17 seconds left to complete the three-point victory.

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