University of Sunderland Men’s Basketball 1st’s have had a steady campaign so far but recent results have dampened spirts heading into their last match of 2017 against Teesside University.

With five straight victories to start the semester, Brian Calder’s men were full of confidence and key players such as Domantas Karpinskas, Charles Sayers and Teo Axiarlis all playing their part.

However, two losses in their last three games has resulted in Sunderland’s slide to fourth in the six-team Northern 3B division although York and Hull – second and third in the league respectively – are both on nine points, the same as Sunderland.

The loss of Karpinskas through injury and Hilo Silva due to work commitments has really hit the North East university hard and they will be wanting to get back to winning ways as soon as possible to keep up their promotion charge.

Coach Calder has mentioned on a number of occasions that the players don’t get to train with each other as much as he would prefer, which says a lot about Sunderland’s potential due to the fact they’re in the mix with the top teams in the league.

The defeat to York last month saw Sunderland come from over 20 points down to lose by only ten, highlighting the tenacity and enthusiasm that Calder wants from his players during every minute of every quarter.

But the recent 74-50 defeat to Hull means Sunderland will have to show some character as it was easily their worst performance of the year so far.

Hull managed to score points at will in the paint and it’s fair to say Calder will be telling his troops to shape up because a repeat performance to end the year won’t be on his radar.

Teesside, who Sunderland face on Wednesday, have not won a game this season and it looks, on paper, to be a fixture which can give the Wearsiders a confidence boost.

But the bottom line is that any win will do for Sunderland as they aim to right the wrongs of last week and finish the first semester on a high, rather than a crushing low.