Men’s Basketball – University of Birmingham 2nds 46-58 Coventry 2nds.
It was a day of highly charged, mixed emotions at the Munrow on Wednesday as the Birmingham Men’s Basketball 2’s lost a heartbreaker 46-58. Whilst the score makes it seem like a straightforward win for the visitors this was not the case as at the half the Lions were up by 10.
Birmingham were perhaps underdogs going into the game, even though they had won three on the trot after a disappointing losing streak beforehand, but Coventry were the first-place team in the league, having lost only 1 match all year and they themselves would’ve expected to win.
However, Birmingham gave no regard to the league position of their opponents in the early stages and didn’t allow Coventry to outmatch them, the game started with a frantic pace which it would keep mostly throughout but at this stage both teams were finding their range in terms of shooting.
Moving further into the first quarter though and Birmingham took the lead, through some very impressive play by Prescott and Johnson who dominated the early phases. Coventry began to become frustrated as they made mistakes whilst Birmingham could do no wrong as they continued to score ending the first quarter 19-9 in the lead.
The second quarter began and it followed a similar pattern to the first, Coventry looking frustrated and Birmingham playing very well. Two players in particular took centre stage with Prescott for Birmingham and Coventry’s number 4 both playing exceptionally and scoring impressive baskets.
Coventry began to find their feet and began to cut the lead as it looked like they were finally shifting into a higher gear. But Birmingham continued to hold their own, an impressive 3 pointer right at the end of the half extended the lead back up to 10 and things looked good for the Lions.
At half time, all things seemed well for Birmingham, really there was no alarm bells going off it seemed as they looked like they were playing a team they were superior to in every way, but come the third quarter things took a drastic turn for the worse.
At first both teams were making mistakes on which neither could capitalise and turn into points, this then quickly changed and Coventry continued to score whilst the home team simply could not get their offence going, every shot agonisingly missed and the lead was cut to 1 point quickly at 33-32.
Coventry never looked back they continued to pile up points as the Lions could do nothing, the third quarter ended 34-44, Birmingham were outscored in that quarter 22-2 and it felt like all hope was lost and the impossible had happened.
For most of the final quarter it was an even match with a 10-point lead staying the same, however Birmingham raised the boisterous crowd’s hopes when they cut the lead to 6, but a timeout by Coventry and 6 unanswered points by them was enough to close it out and eventually win 46-58.
Overall Birmingham can be proud of their performance, particularly the first half as they took a good Coventry side and dominated them, however the momentum took a huge swing in the third quarter, Birmingham just could not score, and Coventry never looked back.