University of Sunderland men’s basketball coach Brian Calder has admitted his side were out-enthused in a 71-53 defeat against Hull University.

A poor defensive performance, combined with Hull’s consistent attack, saw Sunderland outscored 45-26 by the visitors in the second half.

Calder highlighted his side’s lack of enthusiasm and poor demeanour as a main reason for the big loss.

“I think we were out-enthused,” he said. “I think they came to play and were ready to take on the team who were near to the top of the league. I would say that was the main factor, they had guys who were up for it and well organised.”

When asked what he said to his players after the match, Calder didn’t cite the poor performance but, once again, the players attitude on the court.

“I gave them a reality check,” said Calder.

“I was more disappointed about the body language and demeanour, not so much about the defeat but as a team we’ve got to remember this could come down to a double-header.

“I explained to them that even if we are losing I expect us to keep a loss to a minimum so we can have a second bite at it.

“But to give in with five or six minutes to go, with our heads down knowing we were already beaten, that’s what I had a go at them about.”

Hull had plenty of joy attacking the paint, scoring most of their second half points there and highlighting Sunderland’s lack of interior defence.

Calder noted two of Hull’s players as causing the most damage but the coach also said that there could have been more done from his side to deny them the ball.

“We tried a different defence today,” he added. “It’s a defence we’ve been working with to suit the personnel we’ve got but it didn’t work today and they had a couple of individuals who were managing to find the gaps so we went man-for-man.

“It’s not the intensity I would have liked and although there were players hurting us, they can’t hurt us without the ball and they were getting it too easily.”