Men’s Basketball Match Report.
12th March 2011
With the Women’s basketball team narrowly losing to Trent in the first of three Varsity games on Friday 11th March and Uni’s Netball team winning a thrilling game 41-40 in the dying seconds; the pressure was on the Men’s basketball team to make it a successful day for Uni. Having spoken to Gareth Lewis and Patrick Daley in the build up to this game Uni were very confident about getting a result and as I settled into my meal deal courtside I was rather excited about this game. I had the pleasure of being joined by Bruce Lauder from the Nottingham Hood’s to give some excellent in game analysis. Despite going behind early on Uni rallied to win by 10 points 73-63. That victory coupled with the win in Netball has brought Uni back into the Varsity series with the score now 4-3 Trent.
Detailed Match Report.
Trent started the brighter of the two sides as they stormed into a 10-3 lead halfway through the first quarter. Uni were sloppy in possession and Trent were capitalising on these mistakes early on. However Uni’s early game jitters soon subsided and through some great work on the inside by Daley and Lewis plus two sumptuous three pointers and consistent converting of free throws meant Uni went in 19-16 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
A tight affair.
The first ten minutes of the game had shown us that we had two very different styles of basketball on show. Uni’s offence was slower paced and slightly more intelligent whereas Trent were displaying some high octane, fast breaking offence. Uni’s three point advantage was not going to be enough though and unless they tightened up on defence Trent were perfectly capable of making them pay in the final three quarters.
The second quarter saw Uni increase their 3 point lead to 9 as overall they dominated. Uni were getting real joy on the inside hitting several lay ups on the break as Trent started to struggle on defence. Uni’s height advantage was becoming apparent in their area as Trent failed to get any offensive rebounds. Uni committed their fifth team foul in this quarter which meant that had to back off a bit defensively. With Uni committing fouls left right and centre Trent’s inability to convert their free throws was damning. In the first half they converted only twice from the free throw line. As the half time buzzer sounded Trent were 9 points behind and must have been kicking themselves about those missed free throws. If Uni stuck to running offences and playing composed basketball then they would surely pick up points against a Trent team chasing the game.
The third quarter saw the scoring intensify. Trent’s Owusu hit another excellent lay up and he was their star player throughout the game. After trading lay ups Dimitrov hit a sweet three pointer for Uni which was matched with a three from Trent’s Bajua. This was a quarter for lovers of the shooting game, with Thriepland hitting the second of three 3 pointers in the game and Uni captain Daley sinking a magnificent three at the baseline. Trent continued to miss every free throw they were given by a generous Uni defence, with their conversion percentage being a woeful 25% until Owusu hit two consecutive free throws as the third quarter ended 59-50 to Uni. Owusu grew in influence for Trent as the game went on and if Uni could clog up the lane to stop him driving to the basket they could have killed Trent off. However with a whole quarter to go a nine point game meant that Trent still had a chance.
Uni take control.
The fourth quarter saw Uni hold Trent at bay. Owusu was desperately trying to lead his team forward but Uni’s defence did fantastically to contain Trent’s tiring offence. Trent managed to make it a seven point game with 5 minutes to go and Uni missed several free throws that could have sealed the game. Trent’s coach called a time out with 3 minutes to go. However Uni played an intelligent game and waited for Trent to make a mistake. This came with a foul resulting in a Uni sideline deep in Trent territory. Lewis converted a lay up and two more Uni free throws to made it 73-63 which was how it stayed.
Overall it was a tight game with Uni managing to keep Trent at bay enough to seal the win. Having lost the past two Varsity games the Uni boys were ecstatic with their victory which was ultimately well deserved. However had Trent converted more of those free throws (6 from 18 in the entire game) then we could have had an entirely different result. However they didn’t and Uni made it 4-3 in the Varsity series. Today’s three Varsity points could have seen Trent storm away in the series. However two out of a possible three points for Uni sees it become open again with Football, Rugby, Cricket and Field Hockey to come. Much to look forward to in the 2011 PASIC Charity Varsity Series and URN will be there every step of the way!
Steve Hankey talks to Uni’s victorious Basketball players
Trent Captain Owusu proud of players