Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats welcomed back Tessa Morrison and Terai Sadler for the Womens Basketball Championship (WBC) clash with Taranaki Thunder at Cowles Stadium on Saturday.

Morrison, back from her freshman year at Southern New Hampshire University, made an immediate impact scoring eight first quarter points as the Wildcats raced to a 24-10 opening quarter lead.

2016 MVP Fran Edmondson made the first two baskets of the second period before Caitlin Preston put points on the board for the Thunder.

Any hopes of a Taranaki revival were quickly quashed as Morrison and Ashlee Fane landed threes to extend the Canterbury lead to 36-16 at the interval.

The visitors made a better fist of things in the opening exchanges of the third as Vanessa McCarthy and the dependable Jess Tuki made baskets.

However an 8-2 Taranaki run was quickly nipped in the bud by Fane. The Wildcats guard landed 11 points in the quarter, including three triples, to push her team out to a 59-38 advantage after the third frame.

The impressive Fane (6/10 3PG), Ashley Gayle and Sadler added to Thunders woes in the fourth as the Wildcats eased to a comfortable 82-55 win.

The victory takes the Wildcats to outright first on the WBC ladder, a win ahead of Waikato Country. Taranaki, despite the loss, remain in fifth spot.

Score: Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats 82 - Fane 20, Morrison 13, Sadler 11, Gayle 9, Poletti 4/11rebs

Taranaki Thunder 55 - Tuki 14, Preston 9, Cook 8/13r, Keech 7

WBC Standings:

8-1 Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats

7-1 Waikato Country

6-1 Waikato Wizards

5-3 Taranaki Thunder

4-3 Capital Swish

4-2 Site Weld Otago Goldrush

3-4 Harbour Breeze

2-5 Auckland Lady Rangers

1-7 Tauranga City Coasters

1-6 Rotorua Lady Vols

0-8 Te Tai Tokerau Phoenix

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand