A full house was packed into a court inside the Queen Elizabeth Leisure centre to watch the DMU 2nds team against UoL 2nds on Winning Wednesday.
In the first quarter, an early basket by UoL was booed by the home supporters but DMU soon pulled together a string of great passes and shots to go ahead early on. The Griffins number 42, Sevin made a brilliant impression with two wonderful shots from the right-hand side. DMU sustained the pressure on UoL’s defence and capitalised on their mistakes. A grapple for the ball between a DMU and Leicester player was met by cheers as there was no short of passion in this game. Soon enough UoL crawled their way back into the game with each free throw and basket, equalising at the end of the first quarter to make it 11 – 11.
As the buzzer rang for the second quarter UoL were quick to get a couple of baskets to take an early lead. Their defensive play at the other end made it difficult to enable DMU the opportunity to shoot. The difference between the teams at this stage was clear to see, Leicester were a lot more efficient in capitalising on free throws. Their coach was very vocal on the sideline, as she continued to give orders to her players. A time-out was called and the DMU head coach Igor Mirkovic made a double substitution to change something in the game. But at the end of the second UoL led with a good lead of 23 – 34.
The atmosphere inside was getting a lot more twitchy with supporters of both sides on edge. Leicester made a lot more mistakes in the third quarter and made silly mistakes that gave away free throws and DMU gladly took them, quickly narrowing the lead. UoL got the odd basket on the counter but DMU were on the front foot, playing much more positively. A block by no 42 of Leicester initiated a rowdy group of Leicester supporters to spill into the court, behind the DMU basket. He was back with the blocks again a couple of minutes later, with what has to be said was some great defensive play to stop the DMU shots. Igor, very animatedly on the sidelines instructed his players but at the end of the third, the points stood at DMU 40 – 46 UoL.
Everyone’s eyes were firmly fixed on the final quarter of this exhilarating varsity match which could have swung either way, especially with Leicester not holding a dominating points lead. Soon after both teams reached 50 points, however, it was Leicester who took full advantage of the free throws and made baskets in front of an at times faltering defence. The game was running away from DMU in the last minute and it was almost certain that the team would not be emulating the first team’s immaculate win. Nonetheless, they should be proud of the hard work and spirited effort that they very clearly displayed on the court.
The final score was De Montfort University 55 – 62 University of Leicester.