De Montfort University’s Women’s basketball 1st team (DMU Pitbulls) faced off against the University of Northampton 1st side on a day full of British University & College Sports (BUCS) cup matches. After the final buzzer, the Pitbulls had finished as the unfortunate losers of the game, bowing out after a 45-55 home defeat in the Leicester arena.
The Pitbulls didn’t look out of their comfort zone as they began the first quarter in their typical, high pressure style, winning a foul and two free throws, of which one was converted, making it 1-0. The ball seemed to be wanting to avoid all players as numerous times, the ball slipped out of the hands of both DMU and Northampton players. However both sides eventually got a basket and although Northampton were resolute in defence, DMU restricted their chances down to a minimum.
DMU really started to up their pressure after Northampton took the lead for the first time in the game as DMU took the lead 9-4, with one impressive fake shot-to- pass working well. Obviously trying trying to make an impression on Northampton. However, Northampton brought on a player who took control of the game, barely putting a foot wrong. Two free throws and a clumsy pass by DMU later and she had brought Northampton within a point, making it 9-8. Stealing back possession, she ended up shooting from long range, making a three pointer and give Northampton the lead. DMU were able to bring it level by the end of the first quarter at 11-11.
Whilst DMU struggled to contain the attacking power of Northampton, they were able to stick with them for a majority of the quarter, also taking the lead numerous times. After a nice basket by Northampton, DMU were able to win a foul and score both free throws and quickly scored another, making it 15-13 to the home side. Northampton had a game plan of shooting 3-pointers and made DMU pay as they consistently scored them. At the end of the second quarter, DMU were behind by only 2 points after a quarter of few missed opportunities, leaving the game 24-26 in favour of Northampton.
The Pitbulls came back with a vengeance as although the conceded first, they dominated the early proceedings of the second half, taking the lead 31-28. However one player was forced off with what was later found to be a broken thumb. Northampton used this distraction to worm their way back into the game as DMU were unable to convert 4 free throws in quick succession and eventually Northampton made them pay and although there were some impressive offensive displays throughout the quarter, DMU still found themselves 2 points down after a last second shot was missed. Northampton lead 37-35 going into the final quarter.
The final quarter was where Northampton were able to create a gap between the two sides as they started with incredible shooting ability, quickly increasing the score to 46-35 after a number of successful 3-pointers. The gap stayed around this figure as DMU were unable to mount a comeback despite looking increasingly like the side who had dominated matches a few weeks before. With the added struggle of losing two players during the game, one with a broken thumb and later, a broken nose, as well as another player with a sprained ankle, the Pitbulls were punished for their inconsistent shooting, with the final score being 45-55 to the away team.
After the game, Emilie Fairnington said that the team was upset to have lost but will look to achieve their goal of a top 3 finish in their league, which they are well on track for.This is still not a bad performance considering the result was against a team in a higher league, however they will be looking to get back to their winning ways in the BUCS league. They have the talent to do well with a few improvements, the key thing being to stick to their adopted motto of ‘teamwork makes the dream work’.
Final score: De Montfort University Basketball Women’s 1sts 45 – 55 Northampton University Basketball Women’s 1sts