Kirkley inspires defiant BU

Bournemouth University's men's basketball team secured an important win over the University of East London on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon saw Team BU achieve a convincing victory over the visiting University of East London at Talbot Campus, beating them 75-69, showcasing their quality on and off the ball for much of the game.

After winning the tip East London found it difficult getting into the game, despite being fouled often early on in the first quarter and had little points to show for the myriad of free throws they were awarded.

After a tough opening few minutes Bournemouth found their footing, advancing on their previous converted free throws with a neat pump fake and pass to the corner from Evans to find Gariedy who netted the three points.

Defensively, Bournemouth were much better from the off than they were last time out against Solent, showing a lot more hustle and winning far more rebounds.This led to the opportunity for more fast breaks, which it seems is where the BU guards thrive.

Early on, Evans and Kirkley ran the show through this dynamic often leading the charge into the paint and either finishing on their own or creating space for someone on the perimeter to shoot from range.

East London’s number 11, Kaboza, showed glimpses of his quality in the first quarter as well but his efforts weren’t enough to prevent BU from ending the quarter with an 11-point lead, the score sitting at 22-11.

The second quarter started slow offensively for both sides, but once again Kirkley shined, this time defensively coming through with a number of key blocks.

The away side then opened the scoring for the quarter with a three-point play from Delgado who forced his way to the rim and was fouled as he sunk a 2 pointer, later converting the free throw.

It was head-to-head and fairly even for most of the quarter, any ground gained by East London, BU matched. This made for an entertaining period of play despite BU remaining safely ahead by 11 points and the half time score sitting at 40-29 to the home side.

The start of the second half spelled much of the same for the London based outfit, missed free throws and relaxed defensive efforts allowed BU to maintain control. This should not distract from the performance of Kirkley, who continued to steal the show this quarter, shooting from range or working into the paint, almost everything he touched turned to gold.

It was often all too easy for him or Bournemouth’s number 2, Johnson, to dance their way to the rim for an easy layup. The third quarter score saw BU marginally extend their lead, ending at 62-47.

 

By the fourth quarter the home side and particularly Kirkley were beginning to feel themselves going forward. A shimmy through the centre led him to another barely contested finish for 2 points, followed up swiftly by a similar euro step past several bodies and a layup from the left side of the rim.

Kirkley then netted a three, and it seemed all Bournemouth until against the run of play, East London netted a rare consecutive string of scores, turning the tide somewhat for the last minutes of the game.

Suddenly BU come under pressure from an aggressive defence, however, East London couldn’t help but foul and Bournemouth converted a succession of free throws.

Despite this late push, Bournemouth were able to hold out, but not without first making it slightly more difficult for themselves than perhaps it needed to be. The game ended with East London throwing desperate three after desperate three, but to no avail.

The final score finished 75-69, a much needed win for a Bournemouth side looking to improve on their first game out.

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