SOLENT Stars bounced back after a string of league losses had threatened to spoil their first season back in the National Women's Basketball League Division 1.

Having come a cropper against Rhondda, Sheffield and Manchester, Michael Ball's team got back on the winning trail, 64-48, at Nottingham Wildcats.

Solent's lack of confidence showed early on, but points from Louise Gamman and Zsusza Tarnai inside and a Catherine Brownsell three-pointer kept them in touch before consecutive three-pointers threatened to open up a significant lead for Nottingham.

A change in Stars' defence seemed to confuse the Wildcats and, although the Midlanders led 32-27 at the half-time, Solent coach Ball felt the damage could have been worse.

Sarah Cooper hit the next four points to reduce the deficit to 32-31 and, when Maria Tobar scored her first basket of the game, Solent led for the first time and finished the third quarter three up.

A close finish looked on the cards until Stars clicked into a devastating 14-0 points run in the last three minutes.

As the clock wound down Nottingham were forced to foul Solent and put updesperate three-point attempts at the other end. "We struggled on offence for most of the game but we hung in there at the defensive end and controlled the tempo of the game even while we were losing," said Ball.

"It was not particularly pretty to watch, but our players should not forget that they beat one of the top three teams in the country today on their court. That is a great achievement for us."

Solent scorers: Z Tarnai 21, M Tobar 12, L Cloke 9, L Gamman 7, S Cooper 5, C Brownsell 4, K Syngellakis 3, L Powell 3.