Leicester Varsity is an annual event which saw De Montfort University and University of Leicester battle it over 7 days, across a range of sports to be crowned the overall Champions. Wednesday 14th March saw the two Universities clash on the main court at the Morningside Arena Leicester.
Leicester Riders Foundation works in partnership with both Universities to develop their basketball clubs and performance levels within the British University & College Sport (BUCS) Leagues.
Coach Kiran – Head Coach - University of Leicester Mens 1st Team
Coach Dave – Head Coach – University of Leicester Mens 2nd Team
Coach Pak – Head Coach – University of Leicester Womens 1st Team
Coach Tahir – Head Coach – De Montfort University Womens 1st Team
Coach Mandy – Assistant Coach – De Montfort University Womens 1st Team
– Assistant Coach – University of Leicester Mens 2nd Team
Game 1 – Mens 2nd
The first match of the day saw Coach Dave lead University of Leicester’s Mens 2nd Team to face De Montfort University Mens 2nd Team. UoL Mens 2nd were fresh from winning the BUCS Midlands 4A Championships (7-1) and were in high spirits going into the game. DMU Mens 2nd had a mixed season finish 4th in BUCS Midlands 4B league (4-6). The first quarter saw DMU take an early lead hitting three 3 pointers and finished the quarter up by 4. UoL rallied in the 2nd quarter with captain Karl Johnson scoring 10 points on his own, to give UoL a 10-point lead at half time (35-25). The 3rd quarter saw DMU heading to the foul line, scoring 9 in total. Cutting UoL lead to 6 (49-43). The 4th quarter saw a comeback by DMU bring the game back to 3 points. With 3 seconds left on the clock DMU had an end-line ball needing a 3-pointer put the game into overtime. UoL defence held strong to take the win.
Final Score: University of Leicester 66 – 63 De Montfort University
Game 2 – Womens 1st
The second match of the day saw Coach Tahir (DMU) and Coach Pak (UoL) go head to head for the Womens 1st game. DMU won the BUCS Midlands 3B Championship (7-1) and were feeling confident, UoL have had a mixed season in the BUCS Midlands 2A League (2-8) finishing 5th. The game got off to a frantic start with both team hustling hard and playing tough defence making scoring difficult at both ends of the floor. DMU came out on top by 4 points to finish the 1st quarter 6-2. UoL came out strong in the 2nd, knocking down two 3-pointers and took the lead by 1 point at half time (16-17). The 3rd quarter saw the lead swing back and forth between both team as they battled hard to gain the upper hand in the match. DMU took the lead at the end of the 3rd by 2 points (26-24). As they enter the 4th quarter the game was very much still to play for with both teams competing to be 2018 Varsity champions. UoL lost two of the players to injuries, as Coach Pak used his bench, Coach Tahir pushed his team hard to build a lead. DMU game out on top winning the game by 6 points in a game that could have easily gone either way.
Final Score: De Montfort University 37 – 31 University of Leicester
Game 3 – Mens 1st
The third and final game of the day saw Coach Kiran manage the UoL Mens 1st team in the main event against DMU Mens 1st team. Both teams have met twice already this season in the league, with UoL coming out on top on both occasions. UoL have had a strong season finishing 2nd in the BUCS Midlands 2B (8-2), whereas DMU Mens 1st team had a tough season finishing 5th (2-8). This game gave DMU the opportunity to prevent the UoL clean sweep of victories over them for this season. The game start at a fast pace with DMU going on a 7-0 run. This face pace would continue throughout the game, with both team playing end to end basketball. UoL spent most of the 1st quarter stood at the foul line, making 6 fouls shots in total giving them the lead at the buzzer and a 4-point cushion. The 2nd quarter saw UoL pick up the pace and apply the pressure with a full court defensive press. UoL reaped the fruits of their labour scoring 24 points. DMU struggled with the pressure, only scoring 10 points in the quarter, giving UoL a convincing lead, 23-41 at the half. The second half saw DMU regroup and attack the UoL basket and drawing fouls, converting 7 foul shots in the 3rd and winning the 3rd quarter 23-20, but not managing to regain possession of the game with UoL still leading 46-61. The 4th quarter followed a similar pattern with both team still working hard to make shot but for DMU the damage was already done as UoL held out to win the game, and the clean sweep for the season over DMU.
Final Score: De Montfort University 61 – 73 University of Leicester
The 2017/18 season has been great for both Universities with successes on court and the continued development of the clubs off the court. The Leicester Riders Foundation would like to thank and wish good luck to all the senior players at both Universities that are graduating this year.
Looking ahead to next season; DMU Womens 1st and UoL Mens 2nd hope to repeat this seasons successes after gaining promotion and move up to the next leagues. UoL Mens 1st team are looking to build on a strong season finishing 2nd and look to go one better and win the league next season. UoL Womens 1st Team are planning to regroup and develop ready for next season in the pursuit of silverware.
Final thank you to both De Montfort University and University of Leicester for supporting and working in partnership with the Leicester Riders Foundation and we looking for to continuing to work in partnership with University moving forward and developing basketball in Leicester.