King’s College London won Varsity basketball last weekend and are undefeated for the three years since the event was launched.
UCL fought hard in both games, but King’s came out with two very respectable wins, scoring 82-68 in the men’s match and 61-44 in the women’s.
In the men’s match, King’s defined the game early on with a robust defensive block, unhappily for UCL. Point guard Katsiamides showed early signs of confidence with powerful drives through the UCL defence, with teammates finishing off points on the rebound.
Underdogs UCL showed moments of brilliance in the second quarter, with very effective use of space leading to a neat three-pointer from the corner, as well as a devastating back step from the no. 12, who took another three points. However in the third quarter, King’s established a ten-point lead and UCL didn’t manage to claw their way back.
Off the court, King’s player Tameem Sharaf Nani said the aim was to be “undefeated for the future”. Explaining the win, he said: “Our coach told us what to do and we executed it.”
Despite a third consecutive defeat, UCL’s self-belief was intact. Squad member Dennis Nazur said: “We played King’s yesterday and we won by 30 points, so I think today they wanted to get us back. I think we have a better team than they do, just that today they played better.”
In the women’s match, UCL got off to a flying start, attacking confidently and moving ahead in points, but King’s responded with baskets to maintain a lead.
For King’s, Jagnesakova proved a big court presence in the first quarter, while a big three-point swish from Eidsvik and a steal from Schwering in the second helped maintain their lead.
UCL captain Torres sustained an injury late in the first quarter, but nonetheless played impressively. KCL Radio commented: “It doesn’t look like it affected her at all that injury, she brought so much pace to that UCL offense, as soon as she came back on you could see the difference.”
In the third quarter King’s widened the points gap, while UCL struggled on the offensive. King’s fans, buoyed by the earlier men’s win, broke into song and gave UCL a hard time particularly when taking penalties, though UCL’s no. 7 still impressively swished both penalty baskets.
It was a tough match for both teams but King’s came out on top.
The 2017 London Varsity series began on Friday with fencing in the UCL South Cloisters, with King’s women and UCL men coming out on top.
In the hockey, KCL women and UCL men won, while in the medics’ hockey the top prize went to UCL women and KCL men.
Over the weekend, King’s won tennis and women’s water polo, while UCL won the men’s water polo, swimming, muay thai, badminton, and men’s and women’s lacrosse.
Follow London Student on Twitter for more updates from the 2017 London Varsity series.