The UEA women’s basketball team headed into the biggest game of their season against top of the table Cambridge knowing that a win would see them sit in pole position to claim the Midlands 2B title. However, the visitors took all three points to all but seal their champions status.The chance to move one point ahead of Cambridge with two games to go saw the biggest and most vocal crowd of the season turn out to support the Panthers.The home side started slowly in the first quarter, with Cambridge able to assume a commanding grip on the game. Having calmed themselves down, UEA began to close the gap in the scoreline that Cambridge had established. It was evident that the Panthers were giving their all, with outstanding support from the bench and the partisan crowd in the balcony.As Cambridge began to pull away, the hosts were buoyed by Antonia Feilhauer hitting a magnificent three pointer on the buzzer at the end of the third quarter. With the away side now only eight points ahead, the hosts began to believe that the comeback was on. However, Cambridge’s Ashley showed her quality to condemn UEA to defeat. Ashley, who scored 28 points, played Division 1 at University in America, making her one of the stronger opponents that UEA have faced this season. Cambridge closed the game out, meaning that two UEA wins from their final two matches would still not be enough for them to claim the title, providing Cambridge win their next match. With only four players in the side from the team that played last year, there is plenty for the Panthers to be proud of as they look to close the season out in style.
In spite of the poor weather conditions, UEA earned a resounding victory over an undermanned Bedford outfit. Although smaller, UEA’s scrum was strong and steady against the vistors’ inexperienced forwards. The game was won by the backs, with a series of strong runs ensuring that the visitor’s struggled to get out of their own half.The second half saw Bedford grow in confidence, but they continued to be suppressed by the dominant hosts.UEA’s number 15 Laura Fearnley supplied a sure pair of hands and made strong, positive decisions, earning her the back of the match award.With five wins out of five, UEA stay top of the table, three points ahead of De Montfort. The two meet for the second time this season in early March, where UEA will hope to seal the title.