UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 50
SHEFFIELD HALLAM SECONDS 78
Wednesday 3rd February 2010 – BUCS League 3B
York might have entered this game second in the table and with two games in hand, but the gulf in quality between themselves and Sheffield Hallam seconds, the league’s top team, was exposed as they fell to a crushing 78-50 loss in the Sports Centre this evening.
It has been a promising season so far for the men’s basketball firsts in Northern Conference 3B but this result showed that they are unlikely to catch the league leaders and gain promotion this year. Hallam seconds have won all seven of their league games this season and are now twelve points clear at the top. Today they brushed York aside with physical play and outstanding shooting.
The defeat makes promotion unlikely, even at this relatively early stage of the season. Hallam are now twelve points clear and the rest of the division will have to fight for second place. Photograph Peter Iveson.
Yet, for half the game, York matched their opponents well – the scores being at 29-25 with just three minutes remaining in the second quarter. A fantastic end to the half from Hallam, where they produced some fast counter attacks and accurate shooting to quickly put eight puts on the board, took the game away from York. In the second half they showed their quality and brushed the home side aside.
York captain Dane Vishnubala commented that his team had lost their focus in the last two quarters: “We didn’t want it as much as they did. We started well but the intensity dropped in the second half. We were against the best team in the league but we matched them for half the game. We just had no composure in the second.”
The start of the third promised a competitive and tight finish to the match with both teams defending well and showing intensity. For two minutes neither side got anything on the board but Jassen Lui eventually reduced the lead with an impressive shot from the edge of the three-point line. York added to their total with Brendan Moran finding a rebound from a Marcus Johansson shot. However Hallam responded with an impressive three pointer and a time-out was called from the home bench. By the time they had come off, however, Johansson had already cancelled out the three points with an impressive shot of his own.
It was to be the last moment in which York were able to match their opponents. After the time-out they fell victim to some sharp shooting from Hallam, while their own shots were overly ambitious. The concentration seemed to dip and a lack of communication between players meant that clear opportunities were missed. Another Johansson three pointer kept them within touching distance but with the score 48-35, another time-out was called. It was not to give York the boost they needed. Hallam continued to play fast paced physical basketball and three points in the last second of the quarter meant they left the court with the scores 55-37 and the game all but over.
York can take consolation from the fact that in their previous match against Hallam, their first game of the season, they were thrashed 95-50 but today they were able to match them for large periods. Photograph Peter Iveson.
It was disappointing for York, especially considering that they would have been very satisfied with their play in the opening stages. Hallam instantly showed their class, scoring four points in the blink of an eye but, in a disjointed passage of play full of fouls, York clawed back into the game. Hallam showed that they were willing to attempt – and pull off – audacious shots but York kept with them through good work by Jassen Lui. At the end of the ten minutes York’s defence had began to improve and it looked as if the crowd were in for an exciting contest.
Yet it was not to be. The last quarter was especially difficult for York as, after a strong period of Hallam play in the opening stages killed off the game as a contest, York lost their hunger and Hallam began to score baskets for fun. The gap was extended to thirty points and would have been more had it not been had it not been for a slight improvement in the home side’s shooting during the final minutes.
Overall it was a humbling day for York, one that showed how far away they are from the division’s top side. They will look towards their next game against Huddersfield, who are breathing down their necks in the league, as a chance to establish their position as the division’s second best side.
York line-up: Dane Visnubala (c), Marcus Johansson, David Nalton, Deniz Ekren, Ben Brannigan, Aaron Lake, Jassen Lui, Ben Barrett, Sam Bentley