The University of Stirling’s men’s basketball team have reached the semi-final of the Scottish Student Sport National Trophy, beating division one team Glasgow University 83-65.
Stirling dominated the opening quarters and raced into a 41-29 lead at halftime. Glasgow clawed the lead back to just eight points, but an impressive fourth quarter saw Stirling see out the game comfortably.
Coach Cameron Stewart said: “We came out tremendously in the first quarter and got a good cushion which pulled us through some uncomfortable moments in the second and third.”
“All respect goes to Glasgow who were very tough and fought hard with us until the very end.”
It was an ideal start to the game as 9 was fouled as he scored the opening layup. He was able to score the free-throw too, giving Stirling the early advantage.
Ammar Ilyas hit a three-pointer and Jack Hencher added another and-one, leaving Stirling 11-2 up after just three minutes.
Stirling’s work rate was admirable throughout with their defensive pressure forcing Glasgow into mistakes. William Hemp showed strength and tenacity to win the ball and dribble through traffic on half-court, eventually finding James Kerr for an easy layup.
Two three-pointers for Evan Docherty rounded off a perfect start for the hosts, taking a 24-10 lead into the second quarter.
Glasgow came back stronger with their first three of the game. Captain Louis Smith would add another, but their infrequent shooting saw them unable to dent the Stirling lead.
Ilyas began to dictate the proceedings to send Stirling into halftime strongly. After assisting Kerr following some patient buildup, he then rebounded and drove across the court to give Hemp a simple basket.
Stirling survive Glasgow pressure
The second half saw Glasgow apply intense pressure to the Stirling lead. James Campbell was fouled as he scored a layup, allowing him to add an extra point from the free-throw line.
Campbell then found Smith to score and bring his side within 10 points, leading to Stewart calling a time-out for Stirling.
Stirling were feeling the pressure and began to miss shots. Hencher did brilliantly to score and get fouled but missed the free throw.
Hencher was involved again as his missed three-pointer saw Glasgow go up the other end and score their own. He would then score his own three to leave the score at 58-50 to Stirling going into the last quarter.
Any potential nerves were not on show for Stirling as they flew out of the blocks. Docherty hit a three then a layup after a steal to immediately extend the lead to 13 points.
More steals saw Hencher score from range, Kerr then added a layup as Stirling took full control. The lead was extended over 20 points as Ilyas found range beyond the ark too.
Glasgow would score two late three-pointers but the blistering start to the quarter saw Stirling win the game 83-65.
They travel tonight to face The University of the West of Scotland for place in the final.
Featured image credit: Jonathan Boomer