Edinburgh University’s men’s basketball team finally posted its first win of the season by beating Edinburgh Lions by two points, but that wasn’t the closest finish of the weekend as Boroughmuir Blaze pipped Glasgow University 90-89.
Elsewhere, City of Edinburgh Kings and Kool Kats both suffered damage to their title aspirations after both lost top-of-the-table clashes in Dunfermline and Cumbernauld.
Every other top-flight club had won a game this term, but Edinburgh University succeeded at the 11th attempt when they defeated Lions 52-50 at The Pleasance.
It was even tighter at The Crags where Blaze opened a ten-point gap entering the last quarter but then lost Brendan Mullan to an ankle injury. Glasgow University cut the deficit to a single point but captain Boris Gachev missed a last-gasp free throw which would have taken the match into overtime. Skipper Eoghann Dover was Boroughmuir’s top scorer with 23 while Yannick Onifade hit 21.
Kings had been searching for form in recent weeks yet nearly pulled off a miraculous victory in Saturday’s head-to-head with joint-leaders Dunfermline Reign at St Columba’s High. A disastrous second quarter put the visitors behind 41-23 at half-time, but Kings launched a stunning late fightback and were just three points down with 16 seconds remaining. Reign clung on to win 74-68 as they maintained their unbeaten record and joined Falkirk Fury at the top with Kings and St Mirren tucked in behind. Konrad Kantorski led the Kings scorers with 20.
In the women’s league, defending champions Kats had handed Lady Rocks their only league defeat in September, but Rocks stayed clear at the top after dominating at St Maurice’s High on Friday night. Kats were already eight points adrift after ten minutes and the gap continued to widen as Rocks cruised home 65-49. Alex Nelson and captain Emma Findlay both scored 14 for Kats, whose attention now turns to Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk.
Holders Edinburgh University will also be in last-four action against Glasgow Fever this Thursday, but the students were denied a weekend run-out when West Lothian Wolves failed to raise a side.
Polonia Phoenix remain the only ladies team without a win after the Capital club missed a shot to tie as they fell 55-52 to Glasgow University at Gracemount HIgh.
In the Women’s British League, Caledonia Pride’s losing streak is now five games, although the Edinburgh outfit did themselves proud against title-chasing Sheffield Hatters at Oriam. Hatters beat them by 21 points in the WBBL Cup quarter-finals, but Pride got within six points on Saturday before the joint-leaders completed a 77-67 victory. Pride will be aiming for their first win since October when Essex Rebels visit Paisley on Sunday.