Loughborough succumbed to a painful 93-46 defeat to reigning BUCS Women’s champions University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) in a one-sided Basketball quarter-final at the EIS, Sheffield.
UWIC started the better to take an initial advantage in the match as they capitalised on Loughborough Cougar’s ill-discipline in the first quarter.
The winners of the last three championships showed their superiority with quality interchanges and a number of well-worked passing moves as Loughborough struggled to cope with the pace of their opposition attacks with the score at the end of the first quarter being 22-11.
The Welsh team continued to dominate proceedings into the second quarter with six unanswered points in an uninspiring first three and a half minutes.
Even though Loughborough managed to get back scoring points, they were at best matching UWIC’s own point’s increase. Their free-flowing continued to impress and their lead doubled to 22 points by the end of the half finishing 46-24 in front.
The UWIC pressure was relentless as the points continued to flow at the start of the second half with the lead extending to over 30 points.
Each UWIC player had a thirst for the ball whenever it ran out of hand and the speed of their movement in defence meant Loughborough had little time on the ball when in possession.
The scoring spree carried on into the latter part of the quarter as the Welsh team extended their advantage leading 75-34 going into the fourth and final period.
Loughborough got ever-more tired during the final quarter as the lack of a large squad began to take its tolls.
However, the rapid scoring of UWIC stagnated into the final stages as the Cougars had their best spell of the match denying the welsh side a century of points in the 93-46 defeat.
Yet, the game will be remembered for the brilliance of the UWIC performance as they rampaged into the last-four of the competition of which they remain firm favourites.
Joining UWIC in the semi-finals, which will be played on Saturday, are Leeds Met Carnegie, Northumbria University and Durham University.
Carnegie beat Oxford University 83-69 in the first match of the day to seal a semi-final berth that will be played against Northumbria following their by tight 67-60 defeat of London South Bank University.
In the final match of the day, Durham thrashed London Mets 84-45 to progress to the latter end of the competition.
Leeds Met Carnegie progressed to the semi-final of the competition with an inconsistent 83-69 victory over Oxford University.
Leeds Met, who will now face UWIC in the semis, dominated the opening stages and found themselves 15-4 halfway through the first period. While long distance shooting errors meant that Carnegie wasted several opportunities their play from within the key was exceptional racing to a 23-14 lead.
The second period started slowly with only two solitary points being scored by Oxford in the first three minutes. Then, the Southern outfit upped their game with two interception counter attacks standing out to equalise the tie at 25-25.
However, when Leeds grabbed back the lead they were never headed again moving from a seven point advantage at half-time at 34-7.
The third quarter was the most free-flowing with Leeds amassing 28 points to Oxford’s 25 as the tempo of the match increased.
The final quarter was equally free-scoring but Oxford could not respond to the damage that hit their chances in the previous quarters as they headed out of the competition losing 83-69.
In the closest of all the matches on the first day, Northumbria perhaps provided the crowd to the biggest surprise with a 67-60 win over South Bank.
The team from Newcastle led 33-26 after a first half that was littered with wasted opportunities and shooting errors from both sides.
South Bank managed to level the game into the second half with a spirited fight-back but Northumbria stayed strong to regain an advantage into the final period.
A late flurry from South Bank meant for an interesting finish to the game with only a seven point deficit to recoup but this was to no avail as Northumbria settled any nerves they had to move into the last four to play Durham University.
In the final match of the day, Durham stormed past London Met 84-45 in a decisive manner to create a semi-final match against the reigning champions UWIC.
Durham totally outclassed their opponents in the first half of the match heading into the interval in firm control with the score at 40-13.
Durham continued to dominate into the second half however the scoring was largely matched point for point as London Mets picked up their own game.
The losers from today’s play will play off on Saturday for the fifth to eighth places in the Championships; the matches include Loughborough v London South Bank and Oxford v London Met.
The semi-finals will also be played on Saturday afternoon with the first of the last-four fixtures being played at 3:00pm at the EIS.