University of Sheffield 63 Sheffield Hallam University 53
The University of Sheffield women’s Basketball 1s came from behind in a thrilling game of two halves at EIS to beat Sheffield Hallam University 2s 63-54 and retain their unbeaten record this season.
An excellent second-half recovery brought Sheffield back from 13 points down at half-time to see them win the game by nine.
The swing was fuelled by resilience and determination at both ends of the court.
Sheffield limited Hallam to just 18 points in the second half, half of their first-half total. Meanwhile, the Sheffield side scored a huge 40 points in the third and fourth periods.
Sheffield guard, Courtney Shaw told Forge Sport:
“It was tough. We managed to dig deep and get ahead.”
Hallam, the home side in this all-Sheffield affair, started stronger with Sheffield struggling to keep up with their early play.
Shaw went onto say:
“We didn’t expect Hallam to come out as fast and tough as they did.”
The shock to Sheffield’s system was clear as Hallam took an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game.
The slow start by the visitors was obvious; the Hallam players ghosted through their defence for easy baskets whilst Sheffield settled for difficult, long-range shots.
The little success Sheffield did get came from around the hoop but Hallam led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Sheffield’s defensive woes continued whilst their offence struggled with easy shots, leading Hallam to gain a 24-11 lead midway through the quarter.
Elina Helavuori and Mariana Barragan were two bright sparks in an otherwise poor first half performance from Sheffield, both of them working hard under both baskets.
Despite their efforts, Sheffield were down 36-23 at the end of the half.
The second half saw a shocking turn around as the visitors came out showing great passion and determination to change their fortunes by quickly cutting the lead to nine points.
This fighting spirit was epitomised by Gloria Ablola whose tremendous energy off the bench jump-started the comeback.
It was fuelled offensively by Sheffield’s killer guard trio of Belen Carreno, Courtney Shaw, and Manon Romeou.
At the end of the third quater, Barragan beat the buzzer to drag Sheffield within one point.
In the final period, both sides put everything on the line to try to win. However, it was Sheffield who drew blood first, taking the lead for the first time in the game through Romeou midway through the quarter.
Sheffield’s tireless defence picked off loose passes from an exhausted Hallam offence and Carreno put the exclamation mark on the win with several fast-break layups.
When asked what she thought had won them the game, Shaw said:
“It was the tireless team effort that got us there, the more physical team won.”