UEL shoot down South Bank

UEL on the attack at SportsDock

UEL on the attack at SportsDock - Credit: Archant

BUCS Basketball: UEL 73 London South Bank 58

The University of East London (UEL) men’s basketball team continued their winning ways as they held off London South Bank University.

UEL captain Dougie Bennett sank a three-point shot in the first minute, electrifying the full house of fans, all decked in blue for UEL’s Big Blue Wednesday.

And Lukas Winegarner hit another three-pointer a moment later to give UEL a 6-0 lead, further exciting the crowd.

LSBU took a bit of the momentum away from UEL with a dunk and two free throws, but then Winegarner shot another three-pointer and Will Ashby followed with a three of his own to give the home team a 12-4 lead.

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“We were quite lucky with a lot of threes dropping in the first half,” said Leigh Greenan.

UEL continued to dominate the first quarter and Winegarner scored an easy lay-up after some slick passing before Ashby’s two-point shot took UEL to a 30-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

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The six foot 11 inch Greenan, who had missed the team’s previous game with an ankle injury, came on to play early in the second quarter and said: “It’s getting there, slowly. I’ve been doing rehab, just getting my strength back in my legs. I’m sure it’ll hurt tomorrow.”

The bad news for UEL was that they began to play beneath their ability and Blayne Freckleton’s three-point play was the only bright spot as LSBU outscored them 13-9 in the quarter.

UEL still carried a substantial 14-point lead into the second half, but their struggles continued as halfway through the third quarter their lead was cut to 39-32.

“Second quarter, we were terrible,” said head coach Johnathan Campbell.

“We had one quarter where we were okay in the second half. Generally, the [last] three quarters we were pretty poor. We certainly didn’t play as well as we could do. We just didn’t find a rhythm. [LSBU] played really hard, to be fair.”

But that was the closest that LSBU would come as a three-pointer, once again from Winegarner, rejuvenated UEL.

Although the team’s 52-41 lead at the start of the final quarter was still not insurmountable, the momentum had swung in UEL’s favour.

After two three-pointers from Freckleton, a breakaway lay-up from Bennett and a massive dunk from Greenan, UEL quickly closed out the game.

“It’s very important for us that we won, keeping our home court undefeated,” said Matic Zupanc after their latest success on Big Blue Wednesday.

“It’s great. A great atmosphere, the kids all cheering, everyone coming to watch, that’s what it should be like,” added Greenan.

UEL now have over a month to rest before they put their undefeated season on the line on January 21 against Oxford.

The following week, UEL will face their toughest test of the season against Brunel.

Campbell reiterated that Brunel is their strongest competition this year in the Premier South, adding: “They can compete with us, and they can beat us if we play like [today]. Guys have got to give everything in that game.”

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