ESSEX Rebels claimed their first-ever Women's British Basketball League win after winning an enthralling overtime thriller.

The historic victory came in exciting fashion after they beat Newcastle Eagles 103-90, at the University of Essex Sports Arena.

Rebels head coach Tom Sadler said: "This was a game that wasn't won in the last 45 minutes.

"It's a game that was won during every training session that the girls have been battling in, the early morning conditioning sessions, and the hard fought losses we have had.

"They have been putting in a tremendous amount of work and I'm happy that it is starting to pay off.

"I thought our pressure was able to disrupt Newcastle's flow and the team was able to stay focused the entire game.

"The amount of support they have behind them, from the coaching staff, to the University, to the students and local community that have been attending the game, is great to see.

"We aren't going to let up and with the determination they have shown, we are only going to keep getting better.

"The atmosphere was something special.

"Our supporters have made our home games a fantastic event and we hope to see more and more people come out and cheer us on as the season progresses."

The Rebels dramatically fought back from being five points down with only 40 seconds remaining in the game.

A big time three from Jessy Ward saw the gap close to two and after the Eagles failed to convert two foul shots, the hosts had one final chance.

The ball went to Angel Waithe, who went up strong on the buzzer to tie the game.

The Rebels kept the momentum swinging their way in overtime, out-scoring their opponents 15-3.

While it was a great team win, the Rebels were led by Ward, Waithe and Cat Lutz who combined for 89 points.

Ward finished with 36 points, seven rebounds and seven steals while Waithe contributed huge numbers, with 32 points and 12 rebounds. Lutz chipped in 21 points, five rebounds and four assists while another standout for the Rebels was Charleene Tom, who had a near double-double with seven points and 11 rebounds.

Newcastle were led by Kalina Axentieva who scored 27 points and grabbed six rebounds.