Published: 30 April 2018 at 12:00
Late score gives university a 67-66 win in National League Division One play-off
A dramatic three-point shot with just five seconds to spare sealed a stunning comeback and clinched the National Basketball League Division One Play-Off trophy for Anglia Ruskin University’s women’s team in Manchester on Sunday (29 April).
With the clock ticking down and her team trailing 66-64 to Essex Blades at the National Basketball Performance Arena, first-year student Jasmine Gluyai netted a three-point shot for a Rhinos victory that had looked so unlikely at half time with her side trailing the Blades by ten points.
Anglia Ruskin student Katrin Hulme was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the final, a game-saving block right on the buzzer to protect her side’s lead being one of the highlights of a strong overall performance.
A slow start saw Anglia Ruskin’s team languishing at the bottom of the league with a 0-8 record but they transformed their season by winning 12 of the remaining 14 matches to end the season in the play-off places.
Having qualified for the play-offs in seventh place, they faced second seeds Southwark Pride in the quarter-finals, winning 59-67. A 79-64 win against Oxford Brookes saw them progress through to the final.
Anglia Ruskin’s Head Coach Cristina Baiocco said:
“I think the key that changed our game was the fact we believed we could do it and win. We prepared for two weeks and worked so hard for this game. In the end we did what we knew we could do.”
Speaking about her vital block, MVP Katrin Hulme added:
“When the whistle went, I was scared it was going to be a foul! But I think we played those finals seconds really well. We knew the ball was going to go to her (opponent Cat Lutz) as she’s such a good shooter, but I put my hand up, and that was it!”
Martin Beaver, Head of Sport and Active Anglia said:
“Congratulations to our National League team and coaches on a fantastic achievement.
“It’s a great result for the university and it’s exciting to see the team progress further than ever before.”
Photo courtesy of Basketball England