UBL Round 2 Game 2 Review - Adelaide

28 March; Phina Newton


In their second UBL game of the week, both Melbourne teams secured victory against Adelaide University. The men’s team showed another dominant performance, and the women’s team fought hard to earn their first win of the season.

Women’s game

After a close loss on Monday afternoon, the University's women’s team weren’t about to make the same mistake twice, this time ensuring they held onto their lead and went on to win the game.

It was a tight contest from the get-go, Adelaide wasted no time, grabbing the ball from the tip-off and scoring their first points through an Alice Sabine drive to the basket. Melbourne showed great poise in response - something that had been missing in their previous games – getting through an offensive set down the other end and finding Meera Coburn with a deep seal. It was a high-scoring affair, as both teams traded baskets. For Melbourne, Lara Essex was also finding the bottom of the net with ease and for Adelaide, it was the likes of Georgia Winter who had the hot hand – she finished the first quarter with 13 points.

While Melbourne’s defensive pressure had lifted, Adelaide was dominating the boards and often giving themselves second and third opportunities. It wasn’t just Winter who was knocking down threes, and it was clear that Melbourne needed to pick up not just their on-ball defence but put more emphasis on carrying a hand too. Despite this, Melbourne was able to hold their own – Leila Davis and Meera Coburn combining well inside and out as Coburn proved she has more than just a right hook in her bag. Davis hit a tough shot to beat the buzzer and finish the first quarter – giving her team a five-point lead.

Having poise in offence was the difference for Melbourne this game and it continued throughout all four quarters. The insertion of Colby Rough to the lineup helped Melbourne in terms of their ability to bring up the ball and run through plays while star point guard Hayley Cumming is out with an ankle injury. The ball movement was key to Melbourne’s offensive success as every player found their way onto the scoreboard, Davis was putting on the moves. At the other end of the floor, Winter added another eight points to her tally, her team having a hot start to the second quarter, keeping the game close for the rest of the first half. The only thing stopping them from getting the lead was the block party Coburn was hosting, protecting the paint with authority.

The second half saw Adelaide sit in a defensive zone, which certainly slowed down Melbourne momentarily and forced them into taking outside shots. They took a little time to warm into, but soon everyone was hitting them and Melbourne had their biggest lead of the game with 10 points. For Adelaide, Sabine and Winter were strong aggressors on the offensive end, Winter getting up to an impressive 30 points.

Despite Meaza Otto’s best efforts to keep her team in the game, with Winter’s scoring drying up and Sabine in foul trouble, it wasn’t enough. Melbourne was able to maintain their lead down the stretch and show great composure – an improvement from Monday’s game.

University of Melbourne 80 defeated University of Adelaide 67

Key Performers:

Leila Davis – 30 points
Colby Rough – 12 points

Men’s game

Similarly to the women’s game before them, the men’s teams were playing at a fast-paced tempo with plenty of shots going up. It was an early battle between the likes of Adelaide’s Darcy McNamara and our captain Josh McNally, McNamara showing off his quick handles and deadly step-back three. McNally made an early three in return, a great confidence boost seeing as they just wouldn’t drop for him on Monday night. His form was consistent, and he was able to break the game open for his team. Another person who was playing confidently was Matt Power, after top scoring in their last game, Power came out ready to play.

A noticeable difference from the first two games was the absence of star player, Dihan Wiggett. Without his on-court production, it was crucial that other players stepped up and that they did. Wilson Amos breathed a sigh of relief as he drained his first mid-range pull-up, something he struggled to make in their previous two games. After leading by nine points at the first break, Melbourne came out with good energy in the second quarter and was able to steadily build a lead. For Adelaide, it was Harry Bruce who started to fire up and assist his fellow teammate McNamara in the scoring category. Slowly they started to creep back up on Melbourne, forcing coach Shawn King to call a time-out. Ultimately, Melbourne wasn’t fast enough to get out to shooters and were being stretched by Adelaide, who made some tough shots.

As often referred to in basketball, the third quarter was the championship quarter for the Melbourne team. Locked in, the team stayed disciplined in their game plan and were able to pull away from their opponents. The decision to blitz McNamara in any on-ball screens proved to be a good one, the idea being to get the ball out of his hands. The defensive pressure on players like him and Bruce was going to be vital if they were going to get the win. In offence, the ball continued to move through hands and like Monday, all but one got on the scoreboard.

Unfortunately for Adelaide, they ran out of legs down the stretch, and Melbourne’s emphasis on defence made it difficult for McNamara and Bruce to make any headway. Ayual Garang and Emil Kourani started to get going, but it was too little too late for Adelaide as Melbourne’s offence output remained strong, particularly Amos, who just couldn’t miss.

University of Melbourne 105 defeated University of Adelaide 78

Key Performers:
Wilson Amos – 28 points
Josh McNally – 22 points

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