Dixon inspires Edinburgh University’s Play-Off win

Edinburgh University are all smiles after winning the Play-Offs trophy. Pic: Donald Stewart
Edinburgh University are all smiles after winning the Play-Offs trophy. Pic: Donald Stewart
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An outstanding “triple-double” by American student Sheila Dixon helped Edinburgh University add the Scottish Basketball League Play-Offs trophy to the Scottish Cup they won two months ago when they again defeated Edinburgh Kool Kats in a much better final at the Lagoon Sports Centre, Paisley yesterday.

The up-state New Yorker scored 26 points, hauled down 18 rebounds, gave an unselfish ten assists and for good measure added five steals, as EU came from 30-32 down at half-time to win convincingly 75-60.

All this she achieved despite having suffered a dislocated finger in their 78-44 semi-final win over Glasgow Rocks on Saturday.

“It’s a little bit puffy but at least it wasn’t my shooting hand,” said the 23-year-old shooting guard from Albany, who hopes to secure a pro contract in England or Europe next season.

“It’s a great way to finish my stay,” said the Brown University political science graduate.

“But I couldn’t have made the triple without the help I got from the other girls putting away their shots.”

Leading these was Californian Dori Lansbach with 21 points, including three three-pointers, Cathy Mitchell, who had a fine “double double” with 14 points and ten rebounds and captain Beth Mackie with nine points.

Overall EU took the rebounds a huge 69-45.

Dixon was also quick to praise their opponents: “Kats played much better, their guards Emma (Findlay) and Leanne (Page) stepped up a bit, Tracey Phillips was amazing and Hannah (Peacock) continues to improve – the sky’s the limit for her.”

EU coach Bart Sengers described Dixon as a “great person – she’s tough and can play in every position – she deserves a pro contract.

“For me, that was really special, as it’s the first time I’ve won the Play-Offs anywhere – Kats played a good game,” added the Dutchman who is returning to Edinburgh next season.

Peacock had a big “double double” for Kats with 18 points and 20 rebounds, Phillips added 16 points, Findlay 14 and Paige 10.

Kats led for much of the first half, going on a 9-0 run to lead 17-8 with Peacock “posting up” well inside despite the attentions of Dixon who was allocated the task of guarding her.

But a 9-0 run by EU taking them to 61-48 virtually killed off the Scottish League champions’ chances of a double.

Edinburgh Spartans won the Scottish Chairman’s Cup for the first time, downing Glasgow Eagles 99-57 on Saturday.

In doing so, they unveiled a new talent to Scottish fans – West Indies guard Junior Providence – who scored a jaw-dropping 45 points, hauled down 13 rebounds and added seven steals.

Gavin Crawley added 14 points and Jamie Reilly 11 points and an impressive ten assists for Spartans, who could yet add the Lothian Cup and League titles.

The women’s final yesterday was another Capital triumph, Polonia Phoenix defeating Dunfermline Reign 64-39 led by 21 points from veteran former Scottish international centre Les Jackson and well backed up by Norma Wilson and Marta Bodas with ten each.

• Battling Blaze feel Falkirk’s fury in men’s showdown

Boroughmuir Blaze put up a brave fight before going down 76-61 to Falkirk Fury in the Scottish Basketball League Play-Offs final at the Lagoon Centre, Paisley last night.

With Jonny Bunyan back in their side after two games for the Glasgow Rocks and joining the massive presence of GB cap Ali Fraser, Fury pulled away in the second half to complete an unbeaten clean sweep of Scottish honours adding to the Scottish Cup and League titles they already had.

Fraser bagged 23 points, Keith Bunyan 16 and Jonny Bunyan ten for Fury while for Blaze point guard Eoghann Dover top-scored with 22 and Lithuanian Tomas Cicenas added 16.

Blaze had exceeded expections to overcome a St Mirren team without their MVP Nick Collins and fellow cap Fraser Glass 63-39 in a disappointing semi on Saturday night in which Tomas Cicenas and Thibault Boeckler led with 11 each. Earlier, Edinburgh University had threatened Fury after a run of threes from Chris Evans and Andreas Pantziaros had narrowed the gap to three but Fury pulled away again to win 75-58.

Evans scored 19, Pantziaros and Jac St John 16 each for EU while Ali Fraser with 22 and Greg Foussas 21 led for Fury.