The CUWBbC ramain undefeated this season as they claimed victory over De Montfort University en-route to a 6-0 record this Wednesday afternoon.
The Blues traveled to Leicester City to face DMU for their second away game of the season. Right off the tip, the game proved to be a very physical one, with DMU starting off with aggressive man-to-man defense to pressure the Blues’ primary ballhandlers. Blues guards Monti, Florez and Wright appeared undaunted by this pressure though, as they found teammates Dawson and Illingworth, who fought tirelessly for good positioning down low, for easy layups or short baseline jumpers.
The Blues were also successful in utilizing DMU’s overly-aggressive defense by drawing shooting fouls and converting free throws (making 6 out of 10 free throws in the quarter), while pushing DMU into foul trouble with six minutes left in the quarter. DMU had their share of offensive opportunities in the first minutes of the quarter, with Balogun, Loutne and Raszowska each contributing to the scoreboard for their team. However, an unsportsmanlike foul on Florez by Balogun, her team’s defensive anchor, took her out of the game with 3 personal fouls with 5 minutes left. Complemented by strong zone defense from the Blues, Balogun’s exit left an opening for the Blues to go on a 7-0 run to end the quarter.
As the Blues led by 9 points (14-5) at the start of the second quarter, they were faced by even more aggressive defense from DMU at the start of the period, with Florez and Wright drawing fouls and falling on the floor multiple times. But as they did in the first quarter, the Blues fed off the physical tensions of the court to fuel their own play, keeping their composure as they found ways to get around DMU’s physical defense. Consistently looking to find open driving lanes to the basket, Florez and Wright were also able to find teammates Dawson, Suansing and Illingworth for open baseline cuts and shots. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Dawson, Kucharczak and Widjaja brought welcomed intensity into the Blues’ defense, bringing it up to DMU’s level of physicality. While DMU was able to counter with some mid-range shots by Caoe and Raszowska, by halftime, the Blues have brought the lead up to 19 points.
The already-physical game between the Blues and DMU became even more so in the second half, with multiple players from both ends hitting the floor multiple times. Blues players also found themselves in scuffles with DMU players during loose balls and rebounding opportunities. DMU appeared to flourish in this chaotic environment as they go on a 5-0 run to start the third quarter, bringing the Blues’ lead down to 14. However, as she analyzed the DMU defense as she stepped off the court during the first minutes of the third, Wright returned to the court and, along with Dawson and Monti, fuel the Blues to a 10-3 run to end the third quarter.
Even when they were already leading by 20 points to start the quarter, the Blues stayed strong and kept their cool even as DMU continued to play physical defense on them. Tasked by player-coach Illingworth and team captain Monti to focus on boxing out DMU’s players, the Blues did just that, fearlessly pushing DMU players out of the paint for defensive rebounds. Post players Illingworth, Kucharczak and Dawson, who herself had a very impressive rebounding performance, continued to dominate the rebounding game in the fourth quarter, while guards Florez, Wright, Suansing and Widjaja all fought hard to keep the ball away from DMU defenders, oftentimes having to use muscle to do so. On the defensive end, the Blues kept DMU to 2 points in the quarter through strong zone defense anchored by captain Monti and player-coach Illingworth. The finishing touches of the game were made with great shooting stretches from Dawson and aggressive driving opportunities from Florez, which drove Cambridge’s 8-0 run to end the game.
The Blues hope to continue their undefeated season next term. However, with the loss of three great players, Nadya Pohran, Federica Galimberti and Reilly Wright, who have finished/will be finishing their respective programs in Cambridge University in the Michaelmas term, doing so will be a challenge. The Blues would like to take this opportunity to thank these players who, along with their skill and dedication on the court, have done more off the court in becoming like family to those who they will leave behind during their time with the team. The best of luck to you, ladies! You will always be with the team in every practice and game, regardless whether or not you are at the sidelines or thousands of miles away.
CAMBRIDGE VS. DMU: TOP SCORERS
R. Wright (16 points)
C. Dawson (11 points)
R. Illingworth (10 points)
M. Raszowska (7 points)
B. Hammond (8 points)
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