The title defence season for the Lady Rocks continued on Friday 1st November as the Cumbernauld side welcomed Edinburgh University to town. The Lady Rocks went into the contest looking to keep their undefeated run alive.
The match also featured as part of the clubs Plaster It Purple week, raising money and awareness for our friends at Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity.
The Lady Rocks got the game underway, winning the jump-ball on the second attempt. Rona Lightbody got the first points on the board with a nice fake and drive towards the basket, drawing contact and sinking both free-throws.
It was a physical start to the game for both teams with plenty of battles for the ball both on the boards and on the floor! The new look Edinburgh Uni side weren't to be out done, as they hit successive 3 point attempts from the top of the arc, denting the initial Lady Rocks momentum.
Taylor McKeown, moving over to the point guard position in Erin Gilbride's absence, continued to find open teammates curling off screens on the wing and high-post, or cutting along the baseline. Lightbody would be the main beneficiary of this as she continued to penetrate the key at will, scoring on multiple attempts.
Late Q1 and frantic play ensued as several bodies from both teams hit the floor as Lady Rocks struggled to get the ball across the halfway line; the ball eventually made its way up court and in to the hands of Kerri Marshall, who drained the long range 2-point attempt. St Maurice's was rocking!
END Q1 | Lady Rocks 21-19 Edinburgh University
The Lady Rocks started the 2nd quarter, but failed to score off of a missed layup attempt. Edinburgh immediately broke up court, drawing contact and sinking 2/2 at the free-throw line, game tied at 21.
The Lady Rocks ball movement continued to improve early Q2 as the Cumbernauld side found easy chances in and around the key. The ball would continue to find itself in the hands of Captain Nadele Strain, who knocked down several shot attempts and made some nice assists to Lightbody, Kirsop and McKeown for scores.
Lightbody worked the ball down low for another Lady Rocks score; timeout called by Edinburgh Uni. Coming out of the timeout, Edinburgh caught fire from long range, nailing two three's to take a 1-point lead over the Lady Rocks, 25-26.
Fouls became a problem early Q2 for Lady Rocks as they entered the penalty after only four minutes of play.
Rocks continued working the ball into the low post as the quarter progressed. Nice entry passes from McKeown found Kirsop, Bryson and Beattie down low for scores. From this point, the physicality of the game increased with more battles for the ball on the floor, and fouls called on rebound attempts.
Lady Rocks' defensive efforts improved late Q2; McKeown stole the ball in the back court and went coast-to-coast for the score. The Lady Rocks would then find captain Nadele Strain, who hit back to back three pointers! The noise in the hall was electric!
HT | Lady Rocks 41-31 Edinburgh Uni
Edinburgh Uni got Q3 underway and within the first 10 seconds a foul was committed by McKeown in the front court. Edinburgh attempted to re-start play quickly by pushing the ball up court, but they would miss the 3-point attempt.
The Rocks again committed another foul, their second in the first 40 seconds of the 3rd quarter. Edinburgh would take advantage of this dip in Rocks' momentum by putting points on the board. Rocks, however, would make an excellent full court pass to Lightbody who again scored under the basket.
Early Q3 and Edinburgh tried forcing Lady Rocks into errors with a full court press, however the Rocks were able to successfully press-break up court, zipping the ball from side to side and eventually finding a wide open Lightbody in the corner for 2. Lightbody would continue to impress as she continued to draw contact going to the basket, knocking down several free-throws as a result. Timeout out Edinburgh Uni.
Coming out of the timeout, the match became scrappy as an offensive foul was called on Edinburgh Uni for a moving screen. Rocks continued to take advantage of this dip in Edinburgh's play by putting points on the board.
On their following offensive possession Edinburgh turned the ball over, only to commit an unsportsmanlike foul on Sophie Loughran at the halfway line; Loughran converted 1/2 free-throws.
Any hopes for the physicality to calm late Q3 were quickly cast aside; Lightbody passed the ball out to Bryson for the long range 2-point score, and on the same play, a dubious foul called on Strain off the ball. Coach Haldane furious, as it appeared Strain was the one who was fouled, not the offender. This, as a result, would put Lady Rocks into further foul trouble.
McKeown made an excellent drive up court and into the key late Q3, making the bounce bass to Shannon Beattie who cut along the baseline to score.
END Q3 | Lady Rocks 58-43 Edinburgh Uni
Lady Rocks got the fourth quarter underway; McKeown made the strong drive towards the basket and scored off-balance. On the following play, McKeown found Beattie cutting across the key; Beattie drew contact and sunk 2/2 at the line.
Captain Strain continued improving the standard for the Lady Rocks on the defensive end with an impressive block on the driving Edinburgh Uni player!
Back and forth play early Q4 as every time the Lady Rocks scored, Edinburgh Uni replied. Rocks continued to work the ball into the low post, finding Kirsop for easy scores.
Coach Haldane called timeout after several minutes of challenging play for the Lady Rocks. However, this continued post timeout as Edinburgh Uni found open space to create chances and score. The Rocks struggled to find any sort of consistency on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor mid Q4.
Late Q4 Lightbody continued to do damage on the offensive glass, collecting rebounds at will and drawing contact in the process. Lightbody continued to knock down her free-throws, extending the Rocks' lead further and further.
To end the game, Strain drove down the lane and hit the off-balance shot on the buzzer, Rocks fans were on their feet in admiration!
FT | Lady Rocks 74-57 Edinburgh Uni