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York University secured Roses victory courtesy of their Women’s Basketball’s 45-39 defeat of Lancaster. After a scrappy opening period the scores were tied at 6-6 after five minutes with nothing to choose between the two teams.
However Lancaster began to struggle with their shooting as York began to dominate proceedings. Ultimately Lancaster were punished for getting off to a slow start in the game, which saw them trailing 14-6 after the first quarter. York scored seven straight baskets after the score was tied at 6-6 to take a 20-6 lead.
York further extended their lead before half-time to 25-13 as they dominated the defensive rebounds. Both teams had a fairly even number of chances; however Lancaster’s finishing was not up to the same standard as York’s.
After a motivational half-time team-talk from Coach Tom Guyler, Lancaster looked reinvigorated for the second half and seemed determined to atone for their first half shortcomings. Captain Daphne Sakellariou and Vasiliki Makou began to take a stranglehold on the game as they gradually reduced York’s lead.
Sakellariou was immense in both attack and defence scoring consecutive baskets before a fantastic defensive rebound to launch a Lancaster counter-attack. Deborah Acquaah worked tirelessly defensively to help reduce the number of York chances in the second half.
York’s lead had been reduced to just six by the end of the third quarter at 32-26 after they missed a set of three free-throws, which would have seen a much more convincing lead. However that was as close as Lancaster got. Makou picked up two free-throws and a basket, while Sakellariou was a constant menace. But it was too little too late as York maintained their lead in a nip and tuck final quarter with an ever increasing number of fouls. The final score of York 45-39 Lancaster was a fair reflection of the game. York’s win saw them reach the magic total required to regain the Carter James Trophy for winning Roses overall, and in spite of seeming to be outnumbered by Lancaster fans, the York players revelled in what was a fantastic moment for their team.
Lancaster Coach Tom Guyler said: “I am gutted for the team. It was a fantastic second half-performance under immense pressure. We just started too slowly”. “Vasiliki [Makou] and Daphne [Sakellariou] were immense today; however for me my player of the match was Deborah [Acquaah]. She never stopped.”