Despite a first half dominated by Team Newcastle, the University of Edinburgh overwhelmed the Knights in the second half to complete the comeback and notch another win in the BUCS Premier North Division.
Newcastle was running on all cylinders in the first two quarters — their combination of a match-up zone and man to man defence kept Edinburgh on their toes, forced steals and led to many difficult, contested shots. The Knights’ offence was running smoothly as well, leading by as many as 11 in the game. Newcastle managed to keep Edinburgh’s best players — two centres and a new American import — at bay for the majority of the first half.
American guard Courtney Strait led the first half surge offensively, scoring the game’s first eight points, and tallying 15 points in the first half off of a combination of jump shots, drives and free throws. First-year Knights Cassidy Sanders-Curry and Grace Elliott also tallied much-needed points in the first and second quarters.
Newcastle managed to keep Edinburgh’s best players — two centres and a new American import — at bay for the majority of the first half.
Unfortunately, the second half belonged to Edinburgh. They quickly erased a seven-point deficit and surged past a fatigued Newcastle squad. Edinburgh increased its physicality on defence, exploited the open spaces in the Knights’ match-up zone and forced turnovers off of the Newcastle ball handlers to maintain a somewhat comfortable lead throughout the final two quarters.
In response to the loss, Team Newcastle must react to pressure with physicality and poise. With a scrappy Nottingham squad coming to the Toon this Wednesday, the Knights have to respond quickly in the hopes of notching their first win of the season.