- National Teams
The latest BUCS action in Premier Divisions saw a buzzer-beating game-winner, two teams remain unbeaten and one side claim their first victory.
Conner Washington (pictured) came up clutch, not for the first time this season (see here), after hitting the game-winning three at the buzzer to deny Sheffield Hallam and earn Loughborough an important 96-95 win on the road.
“We dug ourselves a tough hole during today’s game,” Head Coach Mark Jarram told the club’s website. “However, I’m really proud of the way our guys responded in the second half.
“They focused on one possession at a time and we managed to fall on the better side of a close game. Credit may go to Conner for the buzzer beater but the whole teams performance in the second half got us in that position. Again we have to go away and improve, we still made a lot of mistakes.”
Northumbria maintained their advantage at the top of the division after beating a depleted Durham side 99-78. All four BBL players were available this week for Head Coach Marc Steutel whereas the visitors were missing a few players. Darius Defoe top scored for the victors with 20 points while Scott Martin, 16 points, Jack Thompson, 14 points, Drew Lasker, 13 points, Mick Di Stasio, 12 points and Charles Smith, 10 points, all added double figure contributions.
American guard Chris Jones had a game-high 25 for Durham, as they suffered their fourth defeat of the campaign with injuries taking their toll this week for Ralph Bucci’s side. It was a fifth win in six for the home side.
“It’s literally about consistency,” noted Northumbria Head Coach Marc Steutel. “I feel like each game we are improving with different guys playing different roles. We executed our sets better and we are definitely moving forward.
“It was nice to get Charles and Drew back in after missing a few games. We have a good team with our EBL guys all playing well, but we’re not getting carried away yet.”
East London and Brunel remain unbeaten in the South with the two teams not scheduled to face each other until the end of January.
UEL were dominant winners as they beat UCL 92-37 away from home as Dougie Bennett and Lukas Winegarner top scored with 20 points each. In addition, Matic Zupanc and Lamar Roberts both contributed 10 points apiece to help their side make it five wins out of five.
Brunel picked up their fourth win with a 70-63 on the road at London South Bank, led by 27 points from Benji Lawmann. L Castro added 17 points while there were also 15 points for Mike Darlow as the visitors’ perfect start continued at LSBU’s expense, as they dropped to 500.
The final game in the division saw Bath earn their first victory after a 51-45 win in Oxford. The home side were without three of their usual starters as player-coach Alex Baron top scored with 14 points and the visiting Bath were able to come away with the win.
“Despite the absence of nearly half of our team, we fought hard throughout,” said Baron. “Our defense remained strong during all four quarters, but we struggled to get good shots on offense. Looking toward the rest of the season, we will continue our defensive tenacity and sharpen our offensive execution.”
STANDINGS: North– Northumbria 5-1, Loughborough 4-2, Worcester 2-2, Leeds 2-3, Sheffield 2-4, Durham 1-4; South– East London 5-0, Brunel 4-0, London South Bank 3-3, Bath 1-2, Oxford 1-4, UCL 0-5.
Image credit: Matthew Withers Photography