Stirling University’s men’s basketball team advanced into the second round of the Scottish Student Sport Men’s National Trophy, overcoming a talented Strathclyde team 89-73.
Coming into the game as underdogs, dominance in the first and third quarters and superior three-point shooting saw Stirling overwhelm last year’s Division One champions to reach the next round.
Head Coach Cameron Stewart said: “To be winning the game from start to finish was a great achievement for us.
“We came into the game excited to get a free hit at last year’s Division One champions and I think it’s fair to say we showed the quality we have in our squad.”
The game opened with Stirling showing their strength from beyond the ark. Ammar Ilyas hit two consecutive threes, whilst William Kemp added two more to build the lead for the hosts.
Strathclyde found success closer to the basket with layups, but a string of darting runs to the hoop by Jack Hencher saw Stirling in control going into the second quarter.
A three of their own saw Strathclyde begin the second quarter with added momentum. Another three saw the lead cut to just 10 points with Stirling struggling to add to their score at the other end.
Stewart was forced into calling two timeouts in an attempt to ease the mounting Strathclyde pressure. With the lead cut to only six points, an Evan Doherty three gave Stirling a nine-point lead at halftime.
Stirling finish strong to secure big win
Stirling began the second half much like the first, two three-pointers from Ilyas and one each from Kemp and Hencher saw the lead extended to a more comfortable margin.
The scoring output of the hosts was keeping them in control, but their effort was admirable also. Gal Mladenović fought his way to an and-one, while Kemp showed tremendous endeavour to win the ball on half-court and get fouled. He converted his two free throws for a 22-point lead.
Stirling’s industry continued into the final quarter. Ilyas rebounded strongly and managed to add the second-chance points to stretch the lead to 24 points.
The visitors remained competitive but the lead was too wide to recover with only 10 minutes left to play. Captain Alfie Memmott was successful from three-point range but could only keep the deficit within 20 points.
David Adebayo was also on target from range, but smart game management from Stirling saw them safely through to an 89-73 victory.
Stirling will take on Glasgow University in the next round of the competition, with the date and time still to be confirmed.
Featured image credit: Jonathan Boomer