Duane Johnson inspires DCU Saints to shock win over UCC Demons

DCU Saints produced the shock of the season in the Men’s Premier League, defeating reigning champions C&S UCC Demons 100-90.

The Saints have been transformed since the signing of American Duane Johnson who finished with a game-high 39 points.

Demons looked in control despite only commanding a six-point interval lead but the game was turned on its head in the third quarter when Saints ran riot. Incredibly Demons were outscored 36-12 in this period as the Glasnevin side surged to an 18-point lead. Despite Demons reducing the deficit to six points coming down the stretch DCU finished in style much to the delight of coach Joey Boylan.

“We really improved since we signed Johnson and, as we saw today, he is a serious player that helped our young players gain a new found confidence,” said Boylan.

The Glasnevin side have won three games since the arrival of Johnson and Boylan is hoping when his injured post player Martin Provizors returns they will mix it with the best.

“Demons are still a class side and sometimes even the best fall from time to time. But I am sure they will be battling for honours when the silverware is being handed out,” added Boylan.

The mood in the Demons camp was one of disappointment as co-captain Ciarán O’Sullivan reflected on his team’s poor showing.

“It was a strange game but credit to Saints they played out of their skins and now it’s a case of us getting back to the drawing board with so many important games looming in January,” Ciarán said.

Templeogue go into the Christmas break as the only unbeaten side in the Men’s Premier League following their hard-earned 82-80 win over Killester. The leaders looked comfortable at the break when commanding a 12-point lead but a tremendous second-half comeback from Killester just fell short.

Belfast Star produced a stunning performance to take maximum points against Swords Thunder where a 25 point contribution from American Shawn Vincent helped them to an unexpected 80-74 win.

UL Eagles also came up trumps when they defeated Moycullen 81-74 at the UL Arena. The Shannonsiders trailed 41-37 at the break but with American Staats Battle in fine shooting form coming down the stretch they held out for a hard earned win.

UCD Marian got back to winning ways following their cup exit to Swords Thunder when easily disposing of basement side Eanna 90-52

In the Women’s Premier League, Team Montenotte returned to winning ways with a stunning 85-62 win against Killester. The Cork side have lost three league games this season and after losing their star point guard Niamh Dwyer going into this game the pressure was certainly on coach Mark Scannell to get his team back to winning ways.

Montenotte were given a boost when Grainne Dwyer, who missed last week’s defeat to WIT Wildcats, returned and showed enough to suggest she will be a key player in their bid for silverware in this campaign.

Some of the basketball Montenotte produced in the first-half against Killester was the best witnessed in this campaign that saw them surge into a 53-28 interval lead.

The tempo of the game decreased in the third quarter but with Montenotte’s American Chantell Alford producing a season-best 23 points the Cork side had this game in the locker long before the sound of the final buzzer.

“My team stepped up to the plate and I am delighted with the contributions of Chantell Alford and Claire Rockall. But this was a team performance against a very talented Killester side,” Scannell said.

WIT Wildcats were another leading side to suffer a shock defeat when they lost after extra time to Singleton’s Supervalu Brunell 72-70.

Brunell can thank the performances of Kaylee Fitzpatrick and Danielle O’Leary who both chipped in with 21 points each and with Amy Waters (19) having another impressive game at the post they stunned the Deise side into submission.


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