Matchday Live: MMU Basketball win enticing final 

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By Charlie Ball. Photography: Ellie Wright

MMU defeated Loughborough 71-58 in the National Trophy final bringing silverware back to Platt Lane. 

Preparation started on Monday with a hard-working training session. Coach Callum Jones put the team through their paces as they looked ahead to Wednesday. The session was mainly focused on running different plays so that the players get to know them inside out to give them the edge over their opponents.  

Photography: Ellie Wright

MMU started the game slowly, with Loughborough taking the lead after the first quarter. It was in the second quarter that MMU started to get going. A brilliant defensive effort filled the players with confidence. In particular Ethan Tucker was excellent on defence, evidenced by his three blocks and one steal. 

Photography: Ellie Wright

This fuelled a mature offensive effort in which MMU utilised their strongest plays saw them pick Loughborough’s defence apart. They also acted quickly when Loughborough turned over the ball with MMU scoring 21 fast break points in comparison to Loughborough’s 10.  

Evan Walshe was named MVP with his strong play in the paint drawing Loughborough into fouling him getting him to the line. This resulted in him shooting 88% from the line. He scored 23 points with 12 rebounds and three assists, dominating the scoresheet.  

Photography: Ellie Wright

MMU’s captain Louis Weaver was impressive at both ends of the court with three steals and three blocks to go alongside his 15 points and four assists. He led the team well and was able to keep them balanced and ready to go on both offense and defence.  

After the game he said: “I’m really proud of the guys, we’ve worked all year for this so the fact we have stuck together and made it through as a team is unbelievable. 

Photography: Ellie Wright

“The intensity we had as a team, the fact we worked together, and no one took it upon themselves to take the game into their own hands all the team and coaching staff pulled together today. 

“We have won the league, the cup and now we want to win the playoffs and we want to go back to the Premier Division, so we have to stay focused and go from there.” 

Photography: Ellie Wright

Loughborough were wasteful and inefficient with the ball shooting 25% from the field compared to MMU’s 38%. They also had just 24 points when in the paint, 20 less than MMU, meaning MMU were stronger when driving to the rim and in the post.  

MMU’s attention now turns to the playoffs after winning the National trophy and the league. They begin to look towards promotion to the Premier Division and their first opponents Derby.

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