Oxford 59-Cambridge 56: The Oxford Women’s Basketball team got their season off to a positive start in the University League with a close victory over Cambridge. The first two minutes of the game were indicative of what was to follow and despite Cambridge taking the initiative with the opening score, Oxford came back with a three. So when the end of the first quarter arrived and the score was within two points, the match was evidently going to be compelling. The second quarter saw a continuation of an interesting competition withgood outside shooting from Oxford players.Aclose match throughout, the Cambridge team kept Oxford on their toes, with Vicky Lister becoming the Light Blues’ top scorer. Cambridge worked hard but were unable to overcome the efforts of Oxford players. Tal Ofek of St Peter’s was Oxford’s top scorer with 25 points, with Mariel dator and Steph Topp also scoring well with 14 and 12 respectively. The game was aggressive and each team was very determined. There were some unfriendly clashes, but this is indicative of a game that ran so close, with the scored tied at 39-all at the end of the third quarter. Oxford played impressive full court press and during the fourth quarter took a runaway lead. an evidently exhausted Cambridge put a hard full court press on in the last two minutes, regaining seven points to break Oxford’s lead down to three. However, the Cambridge team, consisting of 90% new players, often lacked awareness as a team, resulting in opportunities for Oxford to steal balls. Cambridge also seemed confused over some of their own plays and their performance was not enough to beat a more organised Oxford.Both Oxford and Cambridge’s build-up and set plays were carefully calculated, although not always well orchestrated on the Light Blues’ part. The final score promises to make their next meeting on 30 an interesting game, with each team exemplifying communication skills and team spirit that adds another dimension to the sport. With four more away games before the two meet again, Oxford are expecting victory over their academic counterparts when they convene again at Iffley Road. However, Cambridge also have an opportunity to use this time to perfect what appeared to be a good game plan. Cambridge’s performance was all the more impressive considering they were playing their first competitive match together as a team, promising an interesting fight for Oxford next time they meet.Overall, the match was exemplary in displaying what makes competitive sports entertaining: the close final score and the varsity competitiveness all provided for a good forty minutes of entertainment.  ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005