Game Three of the Varsity Basketball tournament at Wits University saw a very slow start, with the Tshwane University of Technology enjoying the lead in the first two quarters but the University of KwaZulu Natal were able to rise to the occasion in the third quarter, eventually closing the game off as 47-34 winners.
The match up between the two sides was a low scoring encounter in comparison to the other two games that saw things get underway in the tournament. Both sides were slow starters but the third quarter provided the entertainment the crowd in attendance were waiting for, as TUT failed to emulate fellow Gauteng sides VUT and UJ in securing a victory on Day One.
The game itself got underway with a very physical but cagey battle between the two sides. TUT however were the ones to register the first basketball in the game that saw them off to closing off a narrow 5-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was much of the same from the sides, with both teams conserving the power play that affords them an opportunity to get double points in 2 minutes. At the sound of the half time buzzer, it was TUT who were still in control with the score at 13-10.
The third quarter saw the shift in power slightly, but not until the halfway mark, where a better defence effort and the conversion of rebounds saw UKZN edge TUT 28-21. Kenan Davidson was instrumental in handing his side the lead, assisting well in defence and the attacks for the men from the royal kingdom. The final quarter was an end to end battle, with possession exchanging hands very quickly, with UKZN seemingly enjoying the slight edge. The men from Durban were the first to take up their power play inside the last 5 minutes, where Thabo Sithole managed to bag his side a wonderful 3 pointer. TUT held onto their power play until the last 2 minutes, which proved a little to late as the damage was already done with UKZN doing well to earn themselves a smash and grab 47-34 win.
UKZN 47-34 TUT
Man of the Match: Kenan Davidson (UKZN)
UKZN: 0. Lehlohonolo Mhlongo, 5. Zolani Khuzwayo, 6. Thobelani Msimang, 7. Thabo Sithole, 8. Siyethemba Ciliza, 10. Kenan Davidson, 13. Jean Amisi, 15. Nkanyiso Ntombela, 23. Bubele Monakali
TUT: 4. J. Karume, 7. M. Manamela, 9. T. Legoabe, 10. L. Makinta, 11. T. Motshweni, 12. N. Mamabolo, 13. C. Matondo, 14. B. Mola, 17. B. Nguema, 18. K. Morake, 20. U. Mashau, 21. L. Tshikonelo
By S’fiso Nyawo