Edinburgh College’s Casey Morrison scored 20 points in a player of the match display to give the visitors victory in their first ever BUCS game. The endurance of the Edinburgh players was particularly impressive, considering that they only had one substitute when Glasgow had seven. It was a poor day at the office for the hosts, who would have been hoping for a victory before the game.
Despite basketball tending to be a lively, high-scoring game, the first five minutes of the encounter were bone-dry in terms of baskets. Both sides hit the rim on several occasions, before Racheal Mason opened the scoring for Glasgow following a shot from Olivia Ausín González. The side from the capital soon fought back to take a 3-6 lead, but the Glaswegians reacted well. Baskets from several players, including four points from Fong Lam, meant that the score after the first quarter was 15-8. González was particularly energetic, taking on defenders boldly.
The home side maintained their lead for the first five minutes of the second quarter. They were 21-13 up and looked pretty comfortable. Soon Edinburgh started going through the gears. This was very much down to Morrison, who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. Although most things flowed through her, the other visiting players upped their game too. Eden Simpson had a good period, scoring seven points, including a three-pointer. Glasgow battled hard, though, and the second quarter finished with both teams on 25 points.
It had been an enticing game so far, and Edinburgh gained more momentum in the third period. Mhairi Bain dominated, winning every rebound early on as her team raced to a 25-33 lead. Again, GU showed that they had spirit, scoring 8 points without reply, including a great twisting finish from González. Edinburgh’s Morrison scored one great shot from the left-hand side of the court and then a lay-up seconds later after intercepting the ball in her own half. The game was still close as we entered the final ten minutes with the hosts trailing 37-42.
It remained tight for much of the final quarter, with Glasgow scoring and Edinburgh replying and vice-versa. Edinburgh’s Maja Majerowikz, who didn’t start the particularly well, vastly improved as the match went on. She showed some aggression, and scored a great basket to make the scoring 43-48, which was essential in maintaining her team’s lead during a period of great pressure. She faked out her opponent with a crossover and finished from a tight angle. Her confidence increased throughout the game and she played extremely well, especially considering that she is only 16-years-old. Edinburgh started to pull away in the last few minutes, with Morrison again shining in her role as orchestrator. The home side fell away quite badly towards the end with the score finishing 49-65. The result was definitely harsh on Glasgow who seemed to run out of steam despite having more players to call upon.
Sean Davidson, the Glasgow coach, was disappointed with the result: “We didn’t execute, we didn’t play our game. We like to run and play fast-paced basketball and it just didn’t happen. I don’t know what happened, the girls just weren’t ready. I don’t know if it was maybe the training throughout the week. We had a big win last week, maybe it got to their heads a wee bit. It happens. It’s their first year training with me as coach. We’ll take the losses with the wins and we’ll keep going and keep working.”
Edinburgh College coach, Craig Nicol, was impressed with his side’s victory after being down for much of the first half: “The girls worked hard after a difficult start to the game. We made some changes and they managed to come away with the win.”
It was an end-to-end match as Edinburgh demonstrated that perseverance pays off. From the start, I could see that their players were talented, and that before long they would be firing on all cylinders. Glasgow weren’t bad by any means, but they struggled to deal with the court vision of Chris Paul-esque Casey Morrison, the physical presence of Mhairi Bain and the determination of Maja Majerowikz.