- National Teams
Led by MVP Karolis Stepanavicius, London Lituanica had little trouble dispatching of Oxford Brookes University, 117-71 in the end, to win the 2014 National Shield on Saturday morning at UEL Sports Dock.
Stepanavicius dominated from the outset to finish with 47 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists, as Oxford Brookes had no answers for him. It wasn’t always as easy as the final score suggests, however.
The first half saw Oxford’s Zach O’Brien go head to head with Stepanavicius, going off for 22 points on 10/11 shooting (Stepanavicius had 21) to keep Brookes within 11 at the break. That was as close as they would get the rest of the way though, as O’Brien was held to just 3 points in the second half, whilst Karolis kept on rolling.
“We came in as favourites but the first two quarters we were down; maybe the players were thinking too much about the game,” said Lituanica Head Coach Domas Solo. “We were bad on defence…at halftime I had a talk with my guys and said we have no chance with defence like that and that we must go ahead and win the game!
“Our goal is Division 2 for next season and our goal for this season is to not lose any games; we are still 15-0.”
“We came out expecting them (Oxford Brookes) to be strong, obviously because they are in the final,” said Karolis. “A lot of teams play their best against us knowing we’re undefeated, but we always play good in the third quarter and we got it done. It feels good, it’s a good win.”
“That’s what I do, ” he added when asked about his own individual performance. “I just come out and get buckets!”
“He’s a good player,” said Solo when talking about Stepanavicius. “He’s a very very strong guy and one of the best in the EBL at the moment, not just Division 3, but the entire league.”