The 2022 University Basketball League Australia (UBL) finally commenced their inaugural Grand Final contest this week. Following La Trobe University's (LTU) win in the Women's Grand Final, the UBL headed north to the Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre for The Men’s Grand Final in what was set to be a thrilling local derby between The University of Sydney (USYD) and University of Technology Sydney (UTS).
Coming off the back of the Sydney Kings NBL win, USYD Bachelor of Economics and Advanced Studies student #10 Ignatius Mitchell’s experience, versatility, strength, ability to shoot for three and play on both sides of the ball was no doubt going to be critical to USYD’s game. With UTS only losing once this season in the first round and against USYD, expectations were high for the men’s grand final match up to be a close game.
USYD took a 13-point lead as the first quarter closed out with the three ball featuring strongly for USYD. USYD continued their dominance with red hot shooting behind the arch through the second quarter to take a 51-27 lead at half-time.
UTS had more aggression in the third, stretching the lanes and getting the ball inside to attack USYD with a 1-3-1 match up helping them step up and back into the ball game. UTS kept advancing through the fourth quarter to claw back the 28-point deficit to a three-point difference at 74-77.
Nicko Timonera #6 (Bachelor of Business) and Alex Higgins-Titsha #7 (Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management) critical to the UTS fight back scoring 20 and 18 points respectively with UTS outscoring USYD in the second half.
But it wasn’t enough to counter the likes of Josh Pain #6 (Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science) who was nothing short of magnificent for USYD scoring a total of 40 points (10/20 from three) and as expected Ignatius Mitchell featured strongly with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
The USYD team continued to make the right plays at the right time closing out the match 86-77 to take the title of 2022 UBL Men’s Champions.
2022 University Basketball League Men's Grand finalists:
The University of Sydney
University of Technology Sydney
Image© Jaimi Joy Screen: The University of Sydney Men's 2022 UBL Champions
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