UEL women’s basketball team hold off late rally to beat Brunel
- Credit: Archant
Team end season with a four-match winning streak and wait to find out fate
The University of East London women’s basketball team may have saved themselves from relegation with a 60-46 victory on Wednesday over last-place Brunel.
UEL entered the match needing a win to keep alive their hopes of staying up in their BUCS league, and they started out well at SportsDock.
They won the opening tip off to Nicole Agbakoba who immediately scored. After Brunel equalised moments later, the hosts went on a 9-0 run over the next four minutes.
UEL scholar Marcy Ingham sparked the offense with a three-pointer, and Abiola Wabara, who had played for the Baylor University team that won the 2005 NCAA Championship, dominated Brunel in the paint.
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The visitors began to play solid defence late in the first quarter, but their shooters failed to capitalise some nice steals, and they trailed 13-3 heading into the second quarter.
Brunel surged momentarily near the start of the second quarter and drew the score to 15-9. But after UEL called a timeout, the momentum levelled out.
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The two teams traded steals halfway through the quarter, with the home sides Paula Silva ripping the ball out of her opponent’s arms.
Five points from captain Kaydene Parker, and a breakaway layup from Ingham after some confusion in the Brunel defence, gave UEL a 29-14 lead at the half time break.
Early in the third quarter, Ingham scored two more breakaway layups after solid steals by her teammates.
But after UEL took their largest lead of the match at 37-20, Brunel suddenly began hitting shots. They hit three three-pointers and outscored the hosts 18-2 over the next five minutes to draw within one point.
Parker hit a three-pointer for UEL at the end of the third, but Brunel continued to stay close early in the fourth and were only two-points behind with nine minutes remaining.
But then Ingham caught fire, scoring the game’s next 13 points, and changing the entire outlook of the match.
Brunel were never able to recover from her sudden streak, and UEL won the match, 60-46.
“[Ingham] can blow a bit hot and cold sometimes, and when she’s hot she does a really good job,” coach Jonathan Campbell said.
“She shot the ball well for most of the game. I thought it was probably one of her better games for shot selection as well. She really got us over the hump in the end.”
UEL (4-6) are now level with the University of Brighton, who lost to Imperial College, and UEL will have to wait and see if their goal differential is enough to keep them up in their league over Brighton.
But Campbell said he’s not concerned about relegation, adding, “I’ve put results on the back burner with this team. If we stay up, it’d be great. If we don’t, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
“I think we’ve got a really nice established club now. And I think from this season onward they’re just going to grow and grow, and that’s the most important thing. I’m really pleased with them.”