It was a hugely successful Saturday for the University Basketball teams as the Women’s 1sts beat University of Manchester 60-31, and the Men’s first team beat University of Nottingham 86-59, extending their unbeaten record at the highly anticipated annual Lockdown to 3 in a row.
Proceedings started at 5pm, with the Women’s team playing out an edgy first couple of scoreless minutes, before buckets started piling in, and a timeout was called with Birmingham unlucky to be tying the game at 6-6 with Manchester sinking two threes from deep.
The first quarter ended with Birmingham 12-10 up, after continuing to dominate the paint the second quarter was where the home side really came into their own. Some great ball movement and steals in this period, with Faye Solkon and Claire Gold looking particular impressive meant that the home side went in 28-20 to the good.
A great performance from the UoB Dance Society at halftime really got the crowd going, but unfortunately Birmingham’s lead was cut to 5 shortly after the restart. However, this proved to be a wake-up call for them, as they became much more clinical, and entered the fourth with a 40-27 advantage.
The gulf in class was evident in the fourth quarter, as Manchester faded into obscurity, scoring only 4 points, whilst Birmingham were rampant, sinking buckets and passing the ball around in a slick manner, and almost every play became a scoring one. Tess Madden led the charge in this final period, making several threes and interceptions, much to the joy of the crowd, and the final score of 60-31 reflected a dominating performance from the women’s 1sts.
The Birmingham Pussycats provided some great entertainment in between the games, and perhaps this, and the fantastic crowd, gave the men’s team a boost, as they went 6-0 up inside the first minute against Nottingham. The first quarter was full of baskets, several from Lewis Davis, and the Nottingham team hit a buzzer beating three to keep within 8 points of the hosts at the interval, with the score 25-17.
The Lions struggled to assert themselves in the second, with both sides exchanging scoring plays and neither really being able to force turnovers or steals, and at the half it was 41-35 Birmingham. The UoB Hip-Hop Society wowed the crowd with a great routine and stunning two-man piece before play resumed.
It was a dunk from Stojsavljevic, which set the ball rolling this quarter, and from then on the Lions never looked back. Thomas, Barabasi and Turnbull all pulled their weight with steals, threes, and mesmerising dribbles as the hosts opened up a 16 point lead at the end of the quarter.
Turnbull and Barabasi again shone in the fourth, as they danced through the Nottingham defence, to the delight and the amusement of the crowd an
d the MC, as Birmingham refused to take their foot off the gas and racked up a final score of 86-59.
The entire Lockdown event was a great spectacle, with some wonderful dance performances spread out amidst the scintillating basketball. It was great to see both teams take early leads, and despite pressure, never elinquish them and eventually build up crushing and deserved score lines. Bring on Lockdown 2018!