Exeter basketball 1s got off to a fine start as they beat Bournemouth 1s 66-65 at home to open their season on 14 October.
Bournemouth took an early lead from the free throw line, but it was the home side who would dominate the early proceedings. Several baskets – including threes from De Lara Bond, Wright and Nash – left Exeter leading 19-14 at the end of the first quarter.
Exeter came out to start the second quarter much as they ended the first, however a resurgent Bournemouth side then fought back and held the hosts scoreless for over 5 minutes of play to take a slim 25-24 lead. The lead lasted for less than a minute and the two teams found themselves level on 29 points at half time.
The second half began promisingly for Exeter. A three pointer from Nash followed by a basket from Riley helped the hosts to pull themselves slightly ahead. They didn’t manage to pull too far ahead though, and by the end of the third quarter the sides were level once again on 46 points.
The visitors came out on top as the fourth quarter got underway, taking an eight point lead within the first three minutes. Fouls became more commonplace as the game came towards its conclusion, with Bournemouth suffering a major setback as their star player Stabuilevcius became one of two players to foul out in the game.
With both teams trading free throws, the score became a lot closer and with 1 minute to play Exeter held a slim one point lead. Bournemouth reclaimed the lead by making two foul shots with 8.6 seconds on the clock. The game came down to a clumsy foul which sent Exeter captain De Lara Bond to the line with 1.3 seconds in the game. Both shots were made, and Bournemouth only had time to take a desperate shot from within their own half which never looked close enough to cause any worry.
After the game, Exeter’s coach said “I’m proud of the team. They executed when they needed to. We’re far from perfect but we don’t want to be at this time of the season; we just want to be competitive. Bournemouth played a really competitive game and went to their strengths. I hope there’s far more to come from the University of Exeter team.”
The win provided a perfect start to Exeter 1s season in the Western 1A divison. Their next game is away to Bristol on 21 October.