Sunderland Uni Women’s Basketball in action against Stockton Pumas | Picture Credit: Ian Crow

University of Sunderland’s Women were narrowly defeated 66-60 by Stockton Pumas in the Durham County Basketball League despite a late comeback attempt in the final quarter.

In a cagey first quarter, neither side found a real foothold as the quarter ended tied at 13 a piece.

Despite a bright start from the Wearsiders in the second quarter, a flurry of three’s and mistakes from the home side saw the Pumas gain an eight point lead.

Another bright Sunderland start and costly mistakes saw the deficit increase, but a rally at the end meant the third quarter ended with the 49-44 score line in favour of the visitors.

In a roller-coaster final quarter, a stunning comeback attempt was prevented by recurring mistakes as the home side were defeated by the Stockton Pumas.

Sunderland came into this match looking to end their disappointing winless campaign and gain that elusive victory.

Although the Teesside girls opened the scoring, the hosts answered with Magdalena Cybulska’s drive through the middle to convert a lay-up just right of the basket.

Sunderland looked the better side and built on it when Vanessa Ray-Oleru passed from the left to Mildred Lee in the middle, who converts for two points.

The rest of the quarter saw the Pumas get back into the game to level it up by the end of the first.

The home side began the quarter brightly with Cybulska’s drives becoming a problem as she ran down the right and sank an easy lay-up for another two points.

However, mistakes became costly for Sunderland quickly as Ray-Oleru’s poor pass gave the ball to Hooton, who found Bennet down the middle, to score a three for Stockton.

The hosts struggled to gain a route back into the game and succumbed under the pressure, ending the half 32-24 down.

The third quarter went similarly to the second as the home side started brightly with Cybulska finding Ray-Oleru through the middle who passed to Valerie Ray-Oleru under the basket, scoring two-points at the second attempt.

Again, mistakes proved costly for the Wearsiders as they commit to many forward and Stockton’s Perley gets the ball and runs through for an easy lay-up.

But, the Sunderland girls then rallied as Cybulska drove down the middle and converted a simple lay-up.

This continued throughout the quarter as the hosts closed the deficit to only four-points.

Sunderland looked to build from the third quarter, with a miraculous comeback on the cards.

They began well as Lee faked her way past her marker and ran down the left for an easy two-points.

Then with just under four minutes left, Ray-Oleru broke forward and down the left again found her way through to score a lay-up to level the score.

But the mistakes crept in again as a shot came in from the left and Sunderland left the ball, which fell to a Stockton player, who scored, regaining the lead.

The Teessiders then went on to increase their lead and slow the game down and leave the home side defeated.