Loughborough Women’s Basketball team looked to add another title to their name and what a great way to do it by attempting to defeat the team that knocked them out of the semi-finals last year and went on to win the title; Northumbria. Four Quarters. Ten minutes per Quarter. Two teams. A hall filled with supports. One title on the line. Kenneth-Lloyd Zimowski was there for Label. 

1st Quarter:

The whistle blew to begin the Women’s basketball final between challengers Loughborough and current titleholders Northumbria who beat the hosts in the semi-final of last year’s BUCS competition. Loughborough won the tipoff and drew first blood with a 2 pointer shot within the first minute of the game. Northumbria grasped the chance to respond with a 2 pointer of their own a minute later. The hosts appeared to be the more organized and the better side as their passing and shooting was quick and precise whilst the visitors struggled to find any momentum and groove to have any impact at this point in the game.

Northumbria had brief moments of success by drawing fouls and having a great steal which led to 2 points in the final 2 minutes of the quarter, but it was not enough the overcome the dominance and skill of Loughborough who had scored the majority of the points and have had plenty of possession and opportunities to continue building up their thriving momentum. As the first quarter came to a close, Loughborough finished the quarter with 4 points through a fast break and a layup buzzer beater. The crowd cheered as the score stood at 25-12 for Loughborough. Great start to the final as Loughborough put on a great display of defensive and offensive plays to deny plenty of chances for current champions, Northumbria, who struggled to develop any chances for themselves.

2nd Quarter:

The scoring account was opened by Loughborough with a 2 pointer after a little over 2 minutes of the 2nd quarter. However, Northumbria were quick to respond with a 2 pointer of their own. Both teams for the majority of the quarter displayed fantastic defensive and offensive aggression. Loughborough showed speed and determination to defend as Northumbria fumbled a great fast break opportunity. Loughborough brought the heat by denying Northumbria multiple scoring chances causing them to call for 2 successive timeouts within the closing minutes of the quarter, and with that the score sat 40-24. A huge play by Loughborough in the closing minute as a deflection denied their opponents a driving layup for 2 points. However, Northumbria still managed to scrape 2 points and then resulted to high defensive pressure for the remaining 20 seconds of the quarter. The 2nd quarter ended with Loughborough winning with 40 points compared to Northumbria’s 26. Loughborough continued to thrive whilst Northumbria’s woes continued to pile up on them and their title defence.

LSU Dance took center court to put on a show for the viewers during the half-time break.

3rd Quarter:

Northumbria opened up the score with 2 points within 30 seconds of the 3rd quarter. The game continued to press on and Loughborough appeared to have a rough and patchy start. They struggled to keep possession of the ball or make any successful shots. Northumbria appeared to have stepped up their game by playing much more aggressive and quick basketball causing mayhem for the Loughborough players. Loughborough only got on the score board after just a little over 3 minutes into the quarter by scoring 2 points and bringing the score to 44-30 which ignited the development of Northumbria and a potential comeback. Loughborough continued to display a plethora of mistakes and struggles as they stacked up on the fouls which allow their opponents to earn more free-throws and points that cut the deficit to 44-37, losing the 12 point advantage that Loughborough had earlier in the game.

The intensity increased in the final 2 minutes as bodies were being thrown across the court, scrambling for loose balls to win possession. However, within a matter of seconds, Northumbria brought down the score deficit to have a 3-point difference but Loughborough were able to pull back 2 points in the last 10 seconds of the quarter. The whistle blew and the score stood at 48-43 for Loughborough. Northumbria had really given the host team a tough quarter as they had scored the majority of the points in the period (17 points). Things needed to change for the home side if they wanted to guarantee the Championship title.

4th Quarter:

The last chance for Loughborough to hold on to the lead they had maintained since the tipoff. Northumbria opened up the fourth quarter with a 3 pointer and scored another 2 points within a matter of seconds, leveling the score to 48-48. A mishap occurred for Loughborough as one of their own players was knocked down to the ground hard, leaving her wailing in pain and causing a pause in the game as the medical team rushed over to her aid. The supporters from both teams waited patiently for the player to be brought off the court on a stretcher to applause from the crowd.

The game recommenced after only 3 minutes of game time and Loughborough finally scored their first two points of the quarter. The game continued and both sides exhibited strong offensive and defensive tactics. Within the first 7 minutes of the quarter Loughborough’s center scored the last 6 points for the team, followed by a fantastic 3-point shot to bring the score to 57-51 to Loughborough. The game continued on with plenty of fouls being drawn by both teams, which led to a player being fouled by a Loughborough player. It was a tense final quarter for both the players and the supporters with the score closely sitting at 59-51. The match continued after the fouled-out player was replaced. The game proceeded with a quick succession of more fouls from both sides leading to a Northumbria player reaching their 5 personal fouls, causing her to sit out for the remaining 20 seconds of the game.

Loughborough continued to develop their small momentum in the closing 18 seconds of the game. They pressed on with high defensive pressure and quick offensive plays which caused Northumbria to do nothing but continuously foul their opponents which allowed Loughborough to score the last 6 points of the game by free-throws and take the victory.

The final score stood at 66-55 to Loughborough Women’s Basketball who defeated the current champions Northumbria as well as gaining their well deserved revenge after last year’s blunder in the semi-finals. A great win for the women’s basketball team to earn the title. A great display of basketball by both teams who fought all the way from the tipoff to the final whistle.

Congratulations to Loughborough Women on their much deserved BUCS Gold medals.

Kenneth-Lloyd Zimowski

Lens Photography coming soon


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