Basketball: C&S UCC Demons continue to set the pace in the Men’s Premier League following a hard earned 88-74 win against Templeogue.
The Dublin side signed American Isaac Gordon last week and, with former UL Eagles star Jason Killeen also in the squad, they were always likely to push the Leesiders.
The game was finely poised up to the break, with Demons commanding a four point lead, 45-41, but, just as they have done all season, the leaders moved up a gear in the third period to take an 11-point cushion into the final quarter.
Coming down the stretch Templeogue managed to reduce the deficit to seven points but Demons consistently produced key baskets whenever the Dublin side threatened to get back in the game.
Once again the class of Demons player-coach Colin O’Reilly came to the fore , as he contributed a game high 24 points.
O’Reilly said: “No team is going to roll over and let you ambush them from start to finish and I think Templeogue — bringing an American in last week to form a partnership with Jason Killeen — meant business.
“This is the sixth out seven league games we have won on the road and there is great credit due to the my squad in the manner they have conducted their business.”
Surprisingly, Templeogue coach Mark Keenan felt the officials didn’t help his team coming down the stretch.
“The officials were not with it and although I am aggrieved with some of the decisions made against us there were also a few that Demons can feel hard done by,” Keenan said.
Belfast Star are certainly on a good run of late and they came away from national basketball headquarters with an impressive 70-63 win over DCU Saints.
Star led 30-27 at the break but the northerners, inspired by American Ricky Taylor (23), held out for a seven point win.
After the game Star coach Neil McCotter spoke of his delight in his team grinding out this crucial win.
“I can see as the season matures we are getting better and I honestly believe we can beat any team in this league when we produce our best basketball,” McCotter said.
“A few weeks ago my starting five included four players under the age of 22 and not many teams in this league can match that feat.”
Killester trailed by six points in their game away to UL Eagles but, with Jermaine Turner and Johnny Behan sharing 46 points, they made a second-half revival to win 72-63.
There was a controversial finish to the Swords Thunder — UCD Marian game as two late free throws ensured Thunder earned a hard earned 69-67 win.
The students went into the game minus American Preston Ross and Barry Drumm but took the game to Swords only to be denied what could only be termed as a very dubious decision
Spenser Mitchell nailed the resulting late free throws but for the UCD Marian captain Conor Meany words were hard to put together.
Meany said: “How can you make a call like that with a second remaining. I am bitterly disappointed to say the least?”
In the Women’s Premier League, Meteors were demolished for the second consecutive week, this time going down to Liffey Celtics 69-45 at Leixlip.
The scoring power of Shelby Smith (19) and Meagan Hoffman (16) helped the Kildare side to an emphatic win, with their next game in Cork on Saturday next against Team Montenotte.
Waterford IT Wildcats got revenge for last week’s cup defeat by UL Huskies when getting the better of the Shannonsiders 70-55.
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