University of Sunderland women’s team in action vs Bradford. Picture Credit: Ian Crow

University of Sunderland coach Harry Wood got the defensive performance he hoped for as his Women’s Basketball Team comfortably beat Bradford 67-43 last Wednesday, a result he put down to converting their “second shots”.

Sunderland started the game on the front foot, with Mildred Lee’s drives and shots causing Bradford trouble, as the first quarter ended with Sunderland leading 20-6.

Sunderland continued where they left off, with Bradford improving, the home side asserted their dominance as they kept their lead in tact with the second quarter ending 33-21 in their favour.

Bradford’s frustration began to show and Sunderland capitalised- controlling the play and ending the third quarter with a 17 point lead- and ultimately winning the game by a comfortable 24 points.

Prior to the game, Coach Wood said that his team worked on their defence following their previous loss to York St John and after the game he said: “We restricted them to 43 points, which is what I wanted to do.”

Wood felt he couldn’t ask any more of his side and that the “response was brilliant” by the team who were without club president and top scorer Magdelina Cybulska.

He also felt the aspect which put them ahead of Bradford was their use of “second chance shots” [rebounds].

“Second chance shots, which is what we did, and which is what they didn’t do,” he explained, talking about the deciding factor in the victory.

“They were having shots and then we were getting the ball and moving the ball down the court, so we got lots of second chance shots.”

Captain on the night Martina Aouda felt that although the team have only played four games and had two practices, they have improved.

She felt the main difference between the teams was Sunderland’s attitude, saying: “We kept our heads clear and we played it well right to the end of the game.”

Only three of the team played last year, with the rest being new and Aouda thought the team could improve by “just working on us as a team and playing together, to get a little better.”

Overall she felt that this game will give them momentum going into the next game, when they travel to University of Sheffield Women’s 2nd on November 1.