Samsung Life stops KB Stars’ 10-game winning streak.
Yongin Samsung Life defeated Cheongju KB Stars 67-55 behind the performances of Cho Soo-ah, Shin Seul-ul, and Kang Yoo-rim in the Woori Bank Woori WON 2023-24 Women’s Professional Basketball League at Yongin Indoor Gymnasium on Monday.
The result keeps Samsung Life in sole possession of third place with six wins and six losses.
Samsung Life got off to a great start, holding the visitors to just 23 points in the first 20 minutes with a solid defense, and led 35-23 and 12 points after the first quarter thanks to strong offensive performances from Shin Seul, Kang Yoo-rim, and Lee Ju-yeon. It was an ideal 20 minutes of offense and defense for Samsung Life.
The third quarter started well. They maintained their lead with strong defense that forced KB Stars into turnovers early on. In the middle of the quarter, they let up. As a result, they allowed KB Stars to get within three points, 44-47. It was a disappointing result, as their solid defense fell apart and their offense got caught up in distractions.
The start of the fourth quarter was no different. They were unable to execute any inside attacks with Park Ji-soo, and were unable to take advantage of their defense. After allowing Park Ji-soo to break through at the 2:30 mark, Samsung Life gave up a relay goal to Heo Ye-eun and Park Ji-soo, and a 3-pointer to Kang Yi-eul at the 4-minute mark, giving them a five-point lead, 49-59. It was a crisis.
However, unlike the previous games, Samsung Life started to rally, with Cho Soo-ah hitting a 3-pointer. Back-to-back Smith three-pointers and a Jo Soo-ah breakthrough brought Samsung Life back into the game, and with just over three minutes left in the game, Shin Isul’s smart defense forced Park Ji-soo to pick up five fouls.
Then, another Jo Soo-ah three and a Shin Seul breakthrough put the game out of reach. It was an unexpected victory. At the buzzer, all the players came out to celebrate the victory. The Samsung Life players expressed the joy of defeating a difficult opponent with their whole body.
It was a game in which Samsung Life’s future recruit Shin Isul (23, 170 cm, guard) shined.
Shin started the game and was all over the place in the first quarter with two points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal. The second quarter was the highlight of her performance. She scored nine points on two three-pointers and a three-point play, while also grabbing two rebounds and dishing out an assist.
In the first half, Shin finished with 11 points, including two three-pointers, and three rebounds and three assists. All were team highs. In the third quarter, she took a break. She only attempted one free throw. The team allowed the lead to slip away.
In the decisive fourth quarter, Shin played 8 minutes and 13 seconds. She had four points, one rebound, one assist, and one steal.
She left her mark on the way to victory. With just over three minutes left in the game, she managed to steal the ball from Park Ji-soo and draw a foul. Park picked up her fifth foul and had to leave the game. The flow of the game had changed. Samsung Life’s players’ concentration and movement changed, and they began to show signs of victory. It was a decisive move that turned the tide.
With 35 seconds left in the game, Shin made a breakthrough from the left baseline to the rim with a three-point lead. With Kang in front of her, she completed the score with a double clutch. It was a wedge. Samsung Life had a clear sense of victory, and KB Stars had just missed out on a 10-game winning streak.
Shin is in her sixth year. She made her presence felt in the playoffs of the 2021-22 season, when Samsung Life most recently won the championship, with a breakout performance. After averaging over 20 minutes a game last season, she became a starter-level backup and is averaging over 33 minutes a game this season, putting up career-highs in all categories with 9.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.3 steals.
“Calm. Steady. Sensible.
These are the words that surround Shin. Along with Cho Soo-ah and Lee Ju-yeon, she is quickly becoming the right person to lead Samsung Life’s future guard, Jin.