Derby Day 2013 saw what could be one of the most exciting Men’s Basketball matches in its history.
Photo: Joshua Smithers
UEA started the game strong. After winning the tip, UEA’s James Harbridge went on to score two baskets in a row and a three pointer later on in the quarter. This reflected the early dominance that UEA had and four minutes in Essex Blades called a timeout with the score 11-1 to UEA. This timeout gave Essex the kick they needed. They became more aggressive with a strong man to man defence, as shots starting to drop for several of their players. As a result, the first quarter ended as it had begun with an even score, 12-12.
As the second quarter started Essex once again came out strong and took advantage of some weaker passing by UEA. The UEA defence lacked the intensity that Essex had, and so the first half ended with Essex leading 33-26.
Entering the third quarter UEA raised their game but Essex still maintained what had made them so strong in the first half. There were several rapid alternate baskets, and UEA were definitely on top, however this quarter ended with them behind Essex with a score of 51-40.
There was no doubt that Essex had a strong defence to stay, yet as the fourth quarter began UEA finally found a way of overcoming it. UEA began an incredible run of baskets which gained them 15 points, players such as Gao Rongze making a valuable contribution, whilst Essex scored only 5 points against the wiser UEA defence.
With one minute and 49 seconds left on the clock Essex called a timeout with the score 56-55 to Essex. At this point the energy being provided by the crowd was essential and pushed the UEA team on to take the lead with under a minute left. With 11 seconds to go the score was 60-59 to UEA and the atmosphere can be described as nothing other than electric. With both teams on team fouls any foul to a player would have meant free throw shots. This provided the opportunity for either side to win. Essex and UEA were both given this chance but it was UEA who, in scoring these baskets, secured a remarkable 63-59 victory that showed UEA’s resolve, determination and will to win.