RHUL Lady Bears de-crown Kings in ULU League

The RHUL Lady Bears storm on undefeated in ULU League Premier Division. This Sunday had the girls face top of the league Kings College London, also without losses and with an impressive record against teams such as UCL and Imperial College, equally strong opponents. Royal Holloway welcomed Kings to Nobles this afternoon and, after a tough battle on court, conquered the only other unbeaten team in the league with a final score of 59-51.

It had been a long weekend for the Bears, with two training sessions Friday and Alumni Sports Day on Saturday, and most of the girls felt rather beat already on entering the sports hall on Sunday. However, they knew what the task in front of them would entail. Kings College London (KCL) was undefeated in ULU League and boasted extraordinary results against accomplished teams. It would be a tough one. But the RHUL ladies had no fear in face of this difficult mission and went ruthlessly into the game, still high on the thrill from Wednesday’s UCL win.

KCL struggled in the beginning of the game and Holloway could speed ahead up to 16-8 after the first quarter. Jocelyn Lau sported her infamous three-point shot and Vicky Bright served the on-lookers a hot one herself. On the opposite side, KCL could not quite break through the tight defence from RHUL and relied on perimeter shooters to score the points. This would prove more efficient in the subsequent quarters.

Second quarter and Jocelyn Lau was on it again. After two quick baskets by KCL, Lau spotted up and brought the ladies back to a 7-point lead. Much because of a solid collaboration between Alice Couten and Kristine Flyvholm, the Bears swung the ball around to find golden opportunities to score. However, KCL penetrated the RHUL defence and were fouled under the baskets after poor rebounding from the home team, and were consequently sent to the free-throw line repeatedly. After the weakest quarter in the game, the teams went to half-time pause with a score of 30-25.

Defensively, the third quarter must be regarded a success. KCL looked tired and only managed to score four times in the ten minutes, whereas Holloway forced them to move in defence by passing the ball around and utilising the plays at hand. Levke Rickmers scored more or less on the buzzer after a fantastic offence and brought Holloway to 41-34 to the fourth quarter.

Not even the volleyball players who had come in to watch the last ten minutes of the game before their training could avoid noticing the thrill in the air. KCL scored six straight points in the first five minutes and suddenly the lead was down to a mere three points. Out of the blue came the shortest KCL player, anonymous until this point, and hit two threes in a row, leaving everyone – including her own team I’d say – in shock. Coach Natasha Green took a strategic time-out with three minutes left and the ladies went back in, fully focused. KCL tried a full-court press which only resulted in three of their players on five fouls and a couple of easy points for Holloway thanks to a successful press break.

An important three-point shot from Kristine Flyvholm and a crucial free-throw made by Candice Moses later, the game was handed into Holloway hands at 59-51.

Kings went home, no longer undefeated in the ULU League, and Royal Holloway Lady Bears continue their winning streak of 2011.

Scorers: Kristine Flyvholm 22, Alice Couten 15, Jocelyn Lau 9, Vicky Bright 5, Levke Rickmers 4, Shanty Cheung 3, Candice Moses 1 (Luisa Miranda, Tracey Ruenes, Rex Ng)

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