In what was an important game at the wrong end of the table, Birmingham University’s Women’s Basketball 1st Team were beaten convincingly by a strong Worcester side, who secured a 78-57 victory.
The opening stages of the match were fiercely contested, as both sides endeavoured to find their rhythm. Birmingham’s defence was repeatedly probed, and they would have been further behind by the first quarter’s end, had it not been for some excellent steals from Minter; they went in to the second quarter just three behind with the scores at 21-18.
Worcester, spurred on by their animated coach, were rewarded for their ambitious tactics, as they repeatedly found the hoop from the three-point line. Birmingham responded confidently: a series of driving runs and finishes helped keep the scoreboard ticking over for them, and a wonderful three-pointer from Nunn meant Birmingham went into half time tied with Worcester on 34. Brum’s profligacy in front of the hoop, however, would ultimately prove the difference between the two sides, as they should have taken a sizeable lead into the second half.
Worcester stormed out of the blocks in the third quarter, and, through some powerful finishing and impressive three-pointers, began to dominate. On the other hand, Birmingham lacked the clinical finishes that would have kept them in the game. The tempo of their passing also seemed to drop, which meant Worcester could easily snatch possession. This presented the away side with opportunities that were increasingly seized upon.
Enjoying a 54-45 lead at the beginning of the final quarter, Worcester grew their lead and in stature as the game came to a close. Some excellent three pointers, as well as aggressive defence, meant the lively Brum side were subdued. Flashes of brilliance were still evident from the home side though, with an excellent maximum pointer from Nunn and some well-timed steals narrowing the margin of defeat, but Worcester’s superior finishing led to a final score of 78-57 to the away side.
There were certainly positives to be taken from the game for Birmingham. The opening quarters were evenly matched: both sides grappled for the lead and demonstrated some great attacking and defensive qualities. Birmingham’s defence began with a great energy that frequently prevented Worcester from gaining any advantage. Unfortunately, this level was not maintained throughout the whole game; find that consistency and the Brum side will start climbing their way up the table.
Player of the Match: L. Nunn