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Match Report: Short-handed Men drop final game of 2021

Oxford Hoops 89-76 Ipswich Basketball

NBL Division 2

Cheney School, Oxford

Ipswich came up short in a true game of runs as they fell to Oxford Hoops to end 2021 on a low note.

Ipswich twice trailed by large margins, going down 13 in the second quarter and then by as many as 20 in the third, but Adam Robinson’s youthful squad refused to lie down and made the hosts work all the way to the end to secure victory.

An up-tempo first quarter saw Oxford build a 29-23 lead and establish their inside dominance, with centre Jamie Cummins and Martynas Ziukas helping the Hoops to 11 offensive rebounds in the game’s opening frame.

The trend seemed to continue early in the second and Oxford led by 13 at 40-27, but a furious Ipswich comeback was sparked by bench scoring from Lewis French and debutant Tyreese Perry-Huggins. Ipswich took the lead on a Perry-Huggins layup and finished the first half ahead by a single point, 47-46.

The finely-poised contest was almost broken open in the third quarter, as Oxford out scored their guests 29-10 to take an 18-point advantage into the final period, but Ipswich threatened another comeback as they reeled off nine points in two minutes to halve the deficit. Aaron Williams keyed the run with two three-pointers on his way to a game-high 29 points.

Oxford managed to quell any nerves, however, and responded with six quick points of their own to re-establish the double-digit advantage. Ipswich continued to pressure the hosts but were never able to bring the gap under nine the rest of the way.

“Our academy kids took another impressive step forward today,” said head coach Robinson after the defeat. “We still have a number of seniors unavailable or injured, and I thought everyone who got into the game showed us something.

“We are going to see this youth project through and I hope they can continue to seize their opportunities the rest of the season. The reality is this has become a two-year project, but we’re still very excited about the talent and potential in our squad.”

Ipswich now have plenty of time to work with those young talents as they have just one game in the next six weeks either side of the Christmas break.



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