Sport

Women’s Basketball end in style with cup victory

Their opponents in the final were the Eagles of King’s Lynn, responsible for UEA’s only defeats in the league, and a powerhouse for the past two decades, dropping less than 10 games in that span. Both early-season meetings had been close affairs, with UEA leading for most of the games but unable to hold onto their lead in the fourth quarter.

The Panthers came into the game aware of the task they faced, but were not intimidated by the west Norfolk team and immediately went ahead early on. A packed crowd of mainly UEA supporters at the Framingham Earl Sports Centre saw the teams trade baskets for much of the first half, in what was clearly the pinnacle of both teams’ seasons.

At half-time the score was tied and the game was beginning to turn into a classic match-up. UEA’s calling card this season had been a suffocating defence, and that increased in the second half, limiting King’s Lynn’s offence to only 13 points in the entire half and disrupting their rhythm at every opportunity. Team captain Sandra Bednar and forward Smita Ramma drew key offensive fouls in the third quarter and the Eagles became increasingly frustrated by their inability to score.

At the offensive end, UEA finally hit their stride, with huge three-point shots from vice-captain Lauren Knight and guards Hannah Hooton, Astrid Bultereys and Nicole Lucioni. The Panthers hit nine three-pointers in the game and forced King’s Lynn to chase them around the court as the final buzzer drew closer.

Each attempt by King’s Lynn to make a run back into the game was brutally shut down by the UEA defence and two quick baskets at the other end by forward Susan O’Carroll put the game out of sight. The crowd erupted as the final buzzer sounded, with UEA claiming a dominant 56-39 victory. Lauren Knight’s stifling defensive performance coupled with her controlling presence on offense earned her the Most Valuable Player trophy as UEA capped a memorable season.

04/05/2012

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