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Matchday Live: MMU Basketball win as quarter-final ends in controversy  

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By Charlie Ball
Featured Image: Ellie Wright

After a controversial ending to a tight game, MMU Basketball held on to the lead and sealed the victory 94-91 against Bournemouth University (BU) team in the National Trophy Quarter-Final.

Photography: Ellie Wright

The BU team included two American college Basketball players Shad Blanton and Antonio (Tone) Hughes and Turkish international Samet Gulek.

MMU made a great start. Evan Walshe, who also plays for the Manchester Giants, dominated throughout the game. His performance was especially strong in the first half, scoring 26 points. 

Photography: Ellie Wright

An aggressive defensive approach helped MMU to dominate the proceedings. They were able to manipulate BU into mistakes and force them to take low percentage shots. This effort was also seen in MMU’s rebounding, with them having 20 more rebounds than the BU team. 

Another area where MMU were able to capitalise was the free throw shooting. BU only made 50% of their shots from line compared to MMU’s 71%. This meant MMU picked up the extra points that helped them secure the win in a tight game, which ended with the teams separated by just 3 points.  

Photography: Ellie Wright

The utilisation of MMU’s bench was a big factor in the second half and was key to their success. The team moved the ball well, getting players into positions to take high percentage shots. MMU didn’t need to rely on the same names to continuously score the points.  

Photography: Ellie Wright

There was controversy to end the game, as BU thought they had levelled the score after Shad Blanton had hit a three pointer. However, the referee had blown his whistle for a technical foul for MMU meaning it did not count. After a time-out was called from Bournemouth, with 4 seconds to spare, BU were unable to convert the free throw and missed their last chance to level the game. 

MMU now head into the Semi-Finals with hopes of making the final and bringing some much wanted silverware to Platt Lane.

Stream available here on the MMU Sport YouTube channel.

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