In the opening Varsity event at the University of Liverpool Sports and Fitness Centre, the women’s basketball teams from UoL and Liverpool John Moores University took to the court.
Elsewhere up at Wyncote the footballers were kicking off, but on campus all eyes were focused on what was about to unfold as one of the closest Varsity matches of the day. LSRadio took our mascot Lenny along to catch the action.
Team LJMU were the first to attempt a shot, but following this initial miss, the John Moores team claimed the first point of the game off of a free throw. The away team followed this with the first basket of the match, but the team from UoL responded immediately with a 3 pointer. As the minutes went on and each team continued to match each other with one basket after another, Team LJMU upped their defence, leading to them to secure the next basket to make the score 7 – 7. After gaining points from several sets of double free throws, by the end of the first quarter, LJMU led UoL, 13 – 10.
In the second quarter, LJMU opened the scoring once again, shooting a 2 point basket followed by a 3 pointer to extend their lead. Both teams scored with 2 points a piece, but an incensed UoL team pulled themselves right back into the match, scoring 9 consecutive points. This was the turning point of the match; the game was on, with LJMU number 20 scoring 2/2 free throws to hold their lead 22 – 21. But it was then the turn of the team from UoL to grab six more points, leaving the score at 27 – 24 to UoL at half time.
UoL took the turn of being opening scorers in the third quarter, gaining 2 points, but LJMU responded immediately by sinking an excellent 3 point shot, followed by a successful free throw by the LJMU number 13. UoL sunk another couple of baskets, but LJMU put themselves just one point behind the leaders by scoring again. It wasn’t long before Team LJMU clinched the lead, incensing their supporters and players on the bench into chants of “J-J-JMU.” But this didn’t last too long, and we could feel the frustration radiating on all sides as UoL ended this quarter just 1 point in the lead : 37 – 36.
The final quarter began with a couple of minutes of high-pace ping pong play to the tune of 40 – 39 to UoL, only for LJMU to reclaim the lead by a single point once again. After several baskets being scored by both teams, UoL pulled ahead a little bit, the score sitting at 50 -45 to UoL with five minutes of play to go. UoL’s Sport Liverpool team edged another point in front, only for LJMU to score again, pulling the teams back together in a nail-biting closing 2 minutes. With 22 seconds left to go, LJMU trailed by 2 points, but UoL only increased their slim lead by scoring a final free throw, closing this heartbeat-increasingly close match at 53 – 50 to the team from the University of Liverpool.
Photo Credit: Cecily Sheppard