University of Sunderland Women’s Basketball 1st’s team | Photo Credit: Mantas Baranauskas

University of Sunderland Women’s Basketball 1st’s captain Martina Gouda feels there are improvements to be made following a 44-91 defeat to Mohawks Teesside in the Durham County Basketball League on Sunday.

The first quarter saw Sunderland miss their rebound shots as the visitors took advantage, using breaks to give themselves an early lead.

The second quarter saw a similar game to the first as the away side extended their lead to 31 points, but Sunderland improved as the quarter went on, moving the ball around better.

The Wearsider’s were much improved in the third quarter, as they began to defend the oppositions breaks, ending the third quarter only 2 points further behind than in the second quarter.

In the final quarter, although the home side were much improved from the first and second, the huge deficit proved too much as Sunderland were defeated by 47 points.

Sunderland were again without club president Magdalena Cybulska, but Gouda felt this showed the team that all of them make a team and not just one person.

She said: “Obviously it’s good to have a full team, but what’s nice is that it shows the girls it’s not just one person that makes a team, it’s all of us and when all of us are playing well, we do really well, we brought the score back, we were 16 [points], up until the half, then we brought it back.”

Captain Gouda felt they became a real team and that they played really well taking more shots as well as some risks, despite the defeat.

But she did feel the team could improve in “general comfort within the game” as well as improving on rebounds and screening.

She said: “Definitely rebounds, we’re not boxing out enough, and screening, just general comfort within the game. A lot of these girls just need to get comfortable shooting and taking risks.”

Overall, she was proud of the girls and how much they have improved feels they are “ten times further” than they were last year as a team with only three current players from the previous year’s side.

Overall, Sunderland player Sarah Hegarty thought they gave it their best shot and proved their determination to win from coming back from 16 points to 34 points in little time.

She said: “We gave it our best shot and our only fault of the game was lack of boxing out opportunities, as well as bad passes. Although, we only had 6 players and were without a coach for this game, our third quarter proved our willingness and fight to win from coming back from 16 points to 34 points in less than ten minutes.”

Hegarty, agreed the team need to improve on rebounds, but also felt passing and “showing more aggressiveness for the ball” were areas the team could improve.

Sunderland next return to Durham County Basketball League action at home to Nunthorpe ‘Boro’ Bruins on January 21.