- National Teams
The latest action in the BUCS Premier saw a full compliment of fixtures with some teams reaching the halfway stage of league action.
Northumbria returned to winning ways in the North division with a 94-82 home victory against Loughborough. Head Coach Marc Steutel had two BBL players at his disposal this week and they combined for 69 points with Scott Martin (pictured) dropping 43 and Darius Defoe hitting 26 while Damoy Robertson added nine. The visitors were led by their own BBL contingent as Conner Washington top scored with 18 points while Anthony Rowe and Levi Noel both added 14 points apiece.
“We had two BBL players tonight and they showed that they are high-quality players that add to a good competitive squad of D1 guys,” admitted Steutel. “It’s still a week-by-week process, but it was good to play at home and get another win on the board with a decent performance.
“Loughborough are another tough team and they have a good core of BBL players,” he added. “Anthony Rowe is someone I really respect and he had a solid game still coming back from injury and Conner Washington impresses me every time I see him and he kept the game close in the second half.
“We’re ready to make adjustments now having to play teams again, and we know that some will have improved so we want to be as organised as we can.”
Durham picked up their first victory of the campaign with a 72-70 victory at home to Leeds Beckett. Sam Martin led the hosts with 19 points while Darrell Bethune and Paul Holland top scored for the visitors with 23 points each. Despite the defeat, Leeds Head Coach Matt Newby was pleased with the efforts of his under-manned side.
“I can’t be prouder of the six players who travelled, with the rest of the roster under academic restraints,” he explained. “We relied on the experience of Paul Holland and Darrell Bethune with Ricky Fetske showing real consistency and had relentless work from our three rookies.
“As usual it was tough in the North-East and their strength in depth shone through in the second half. The final score could be tough because of the final split, and because we had the possession to tie the game, but I could not be happier with the performance.”
The other game saw Sheffield Hallam prevail victorious against Worcester, running out 85-75 winners over the defending champions.
In the South, East London made it four out of four with a dominant 104-37 victory at home to Bath, who suffered their second straight defeat. Lukas Winegarner led the hosts with 17 points with three other players reaching double figures as Dougie Bennett added 15 and there were 13 points each for Blayne Freckleton and Matic Zupanc.
Brunel maintained their unbeaten record, despite not having played since week 2, after defeating UCL 83-59 on the road. The home side were able to include 12 players after only having four available last week, but fell to their fourth loss in the division. Mike Darlow top scored for Brunel with 33 points while Benji Lawmann added a further 23 points in the absence of Prince Lartley.
London South Bank also recorded their third win with a narrow 49-45 success against Oxford, finishing the game with a 7-0 run to take the victory. Aneil Jaswal made a 3-pointer to put the visitors ahead at 45-42, but the visitors would struggle with LSB’s full-court press in the closing stages according to player-coach Alex Baron, before allowing consecutive offensive rebounds which proved costly.
STANDINGS: North– Northumbria (4-1); Loughborough (3-2); Worcester (2-2); Sheffield, Leeds (2-3); Durham (1-3). South– East London (4-0); Brunel (3-0); London South Bank (3-2); Oxford (1-3); Bath (0-2); UCL (0-4).
Image credit: Dave Moore