Blues Guard Carla Rios drives to the foul-line for an easy two points. Photo Credit: Claire Ratican 2017

A Blue Storm for Oxford Brookes

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Match Report 29 November 2017

Blues vs Oxford Brookes (5pm, Oxford Brookes University Centre for Sport)

Result: 74-43 (Cambridge)

The Blues hit the road again last Wednesday 29th November one more time to fight the final game of an arduous string of ‘away’ matches before Christmas. Their opponents were Oxford Brookes, who Cambridge had crushed 52 vs 14 in the first match of the season earlier in October. However, the Blues were not approaching this game with any complacency— coming off some brutal losses in the last few weeks away in Worcester and Nottingham, the Blues needed to give a solid performance against Oxford Brookes to build some all-too-allusive confidence to take on an intimidating Birmingham team the next day.

The Blues came out firing with forwards Léonie de Jonge,  Claire Ratican and Becky Illingworth proving unstoppable under the basket for the much shorter Brookes team. Outside attacking from Blues guards Carla Rios, Annie Lyons and Aicha Massrali saw Cambridge shoot out to an early lead finishing the first quarter 21 vs 5.

Blues Guard Carla Rios drives to the foul-line for an easy two points. Photo Credit: Claire Ratican 2017

Blues Guard Carla Rios drives to the foul-line for an easy two points. Photo Credit: Claire Ratican 2017

In the second quarter, Oxford Brookes found some form from the perimeter, with a huge three-pointer scored by L. Muraskauskaite in the first minute, and a handful of field-goals being notched up by R. Safari. However, these successes were few and far between and couldn’t slow the Blues’ offense led by de Jonge. Oxford’s continued reluctance to play the ball inside to their forwards in the second half meant that the Blues had to guard a ‘5-out’ formation, but with slow ball movement around the outside, forward Claire Ratican was able to pick-off a number of sloppy passes and make some valuable turnovers for the Blues.

Cambridge ran their full bench during the match, playing with confidence and seeing every Blues player make the scoresheet. The final score sat at 74 vs 43 for Cambridge giving them a decisive win under their belt and some self-assurance as they started to think about encountering Birmingham the following evening who are currently ranked 2nd in the BUCS 1A Midlands division.

Points: Léonie de Jonge (22), Becky Illingworth (15), Claire Ratican (13), Emily Lees (6), Aicha Massrali (6), Carla Rios (6),  Lara Sieg (4), Annie Lyons (4), Saffron Hicks (2).

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