UBL Round 4 Review - Perth Doubleheader

11 April; Phina Newton


This week, our UBL athletes made the trek across the country to Perth, where they each played back-to-back games. Both teams split the results, earning a win apiece, unfortunately the Women fell to a strong Curtin team and the Men lost in a tight one against UWA.

Playing two games in 24 hours is a tough ask, but our athletes faced the extra challenge of little preparation time after their flight and added exhaustion that came with it.

Women’s games

Our Women’s team played a very strong Curtin University team, who wasted no time and earnt themselves an early double-digit lead in the first quarter. The Curtin team were proficient in their offensive sets and were able to capitalise early with some good shooting form. After a slow start, Melbourne University was able to make things happen and limit their turnovers. By half time, the margin was only 11 points and the team had started to find their feet - the first half acting as a warmup. While Curtin were proving they could shoot from range, so was Ariyel Edwards, who finished the game with 27 points. Despite her best efforts and a late come back from her team, Melbourne University were unable to get back in the ball game and turn the lead around – falling in their first game by 12 points.

Their second game showed an improved performance, the women starting hot off the blocks, Hayley Cumming and Meera Coburn with a quick ten points between them. It wasn’t just offence however, that helped Melbourne University sustain a lead, but their defence proved challenging for UWA to break through. After starting in man-to-man, they opted for a zone, the length of the team ensured there were no easy drives or shots inside, besides the best efforts of UWA’s Abbey Hall, who earlier in the game showed off her ability to nail shots both inside and out.

Late in the second half fatigue started to set in amongst the Melbourne University team and more fouls were being committed. Combining this with their struggles to finish shots, meant UWA were able to close the margin, but after coach Keith Noack made some subs, the game was back under control and the team were able to pull away with a 17-point win..

Game 1: University of Melbourne 105 defeated by Curtin University 78

Game 2: University of Melbourne 105 defeated by University of Western Australia 78

Men’s games

Our men’s team had a little bit more time to rest before hitting the court in Perth, and thanks to some lights out shooting from James Avgerinos off the bench the team were able to win their first game in dominant fashion. Initially, the Curtin team were able to stay in the match due to their energy, as they crashed the offensive boards which allowed them to get plenty of second chance points. Knowing he had two games ahead of him, coach Shawn King used his bench early, and this rotation proved to be more aggressive on court. For Curtin, Lachlan Bertram showed signs of being a problem for the Melbourne University team, staying low to the ground and using his speed, he kept finding his way to the basket. A change in defensive match up put an end to this, and as a team, Melbourne University were able to hold their Curtin opponents to only 56 points.

In the second game of the trip, it was clear that fatigue played a part in the team’s loss. Avgerinos continued his stellar shooting form; his confidence only having grown from the previous game. Unfortunately, the rest of team were not as strong, particularly from long range. In saying that, Wilson Amos proved yet again just how dangerous he could be with his mid-range pull up and gave his team a real spark late in the game.

It was a defensive grind for both teams, as they pushed each other into taking tough shots, and ultimately it was UWA who proved they could make them down the stretch. There were times where Melbourne University had lapses and UWA were sure to take advantage of this, often playing with more hustle. Melbourne University’s main avenue of scoring came from drives by the guards with late dishes into the bigs, Kai Garnaut often being on the receiving end. A fatigued Melbourne University team could not keep up by the end, as UWA pulled off some tough shots and got the better end of the stick with referee calls – going down by three, the men’s team were handed their first loss of the season.

Game 1: University of Melbourne 83 defeated Curtin University 56

Game 2: University of Melbourne 78 defeated by University of Western Australia 81

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