Ahead of the BUCS Championship Basketball Finals this evening, our Sports Commentator Tom Crabb brings you a play-by-play of last night’s intense Trophy Final between Northampton and Edinburgh Universities.
Edinburgh stormed back from 13 points down to complete a thrilling comeback and defeat Northampton 56-54 in the Men’s Basketball Trophy Final.
Despite Edinburgh getting the first points on the board, Northampton made the more impressive start, racing into an 8-2 lead with two superb three pointers in the opening two minutes.
They continued in the same vein as the first quarter progressed, netting two more scoring shots with some fluid attacking play to extend their lead to eight points.
Edinburgh were struggling to cope with their opponents muscular play, a tactic that at times went too far in the officials view, with four free shot opportunities resulting in two extra points for the Scottish University to reduce their arrears to 12-8.
Offie and Francis were Northampton’s best players, scoring sixteen of their 21 points in the opening quarter to help their side to a 21-14 lead at the break.
Northampton seemed to be suffering from complacency at the start of the second quarter, gifting possession to Edinburgh on numerous occasions.
The Edinburgh side were trying their best to take advantage, getting back to 24-21 after three minutes of play, before Paul Merson bagged five points in a minute for Northampton to extend their lead back to eight points.
Edinburgh then restored parity in a superb middle period for the Scottish outfit, bagging a superb lay up either side of two three pointers to level things at 29-29, before two free shots gave them the lead for the first time in the match.
The game was flowing from end to end, Leon Henry bagging seven quick points for Northampton – with a two point score for Edinburgh sandwiched in between – to make it 36-33 at half time to Northampton.
The Northampton side seemed to be benefitting from a second wind, storming into a 13 point lead halfway through the third quarter to leave things 48-35.
Edinburgh were still battling, reducing their arrears to six points, before a score from Northampton on the buzzer gave them a 50-43 lead going into the final ten minutes.
But the Scottish University were not perturbed, Ben Warrington inspiring them to surge into a three point lead with less than a minute to play.
Both sides were battling hard, Northampton pulling themselves back into with 30 seconds to go at 54-54, before an intense time out with five seconds to go gave Edinburgh time to regroup, the Scottish University driving down the other end to net with two seconds remaining and snatch a dramatic victory.