The women’s 1st basketball team faced an excellent Cambridge side, who sealed a 63-30 victory in what was a relatively low-scoring game.
Birmingham were slow to find their rhythm in the opening quarter; loose passes and some lapses of concentration allowed Cambridge to assert their dominance early on. Profligacy in front of the hoop made the score very one sided, with Cambridge’s clinical finishing putting them 21-5 up by the first quarter’s end.
But the second quarter was a different story. The channels that the Birmingham defence had left open for the Cambridge attack, were closed, and they defended with a new found intensity that dampened the free-flowing style of the Cambridge team. Whilst this was certainly helped by some poor shooting from the visitors, Birmingham’s aggressive defence hurried the opponent, and made it very difficult for them to have a clean attempt at the basket. From this solid defensive foundation, Brum’s attack seemed to really improve. No.5 began to control the tempo of their play, and they probed and found channels of space that they took advantage of, leaving them just 8 points behind by half time, with the score 27-19.
Cambridge’s No.7 spoilt the party for Birmingham, however. Having got themselves back into the game, Cambridge’s best player hit a couple of 3-pointers that took the game away from the home side. A wonderful steal from Brum’s No.9 was a highlight of what was otherwise a one-sided quarter, as they lacked the clinical finishing that proved the difference between the two sides. As a result, their heads seemed to drop, and their defence lost the spark that had brought them back into the game.
Birmingham’s defence tired by the final quarter, and Cambridge seized the opportunity to make the score look perhaps a little flattering, at 63-30, after Brum had suggested a possible comeback in the second.
Although it was a convincing Cambridge win, Birmingham showed enough fight and skill to be confident of surviving a possible relegation scrap. Add consistency to their play and this will certainly be the case.
Birmingham’s player of the match: No.14