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Varsity 2020 - Men's 2nds

15th February 2020, Iffley Road Sports Centre, Oxford

Author: Samuel J. Lewis


Cambridge 2nds 62, Oxford 2nds 67


Cambridge started Varsity with a seasoned squad: Captain Andrea Pizzi running the point, Keji Neri and Michael Hofstetter in the front court, and Antanas Radzevičius and TJ Booker playing the 2 and 3. Back on defense, Cambridge played an aggressive 2-3 zone, forcing an Oxford airball from deep. In the first quarter, Cambridge played up-tempo ball, including a scoring tear by Radzevičius and successful drives by Hofstetter, Pizzi, and Noah Gordon. At the end of the first, Cambridge led 22-9.

In the second quarter, Oxford's jump shooters began to heat up while Cambridge struggled to connect on their attempts. Halfway through the quarter, Oxford held Cambridge scoreless and came within one point of Cambridge's lead.

At halftime, their lead had shrunk to 33-28. In the third quarter, Radzevičius, Pizzi, Booker, and Hofstadter energized Cambridge with difficult buckets while the whole squad held it down on defense. At the end of the quarter, Cambridge had a commanding 50-37 lead. In the fourth, Oxford brought the intensity and capitalized on Cambridge turnovers while also hitting a handful of threes, quickly cutting Cambridge's lead to 6. A moonball from Francisco Huhn, followed by a spinning layup from Jason Ye, ended the Oxford run. With under 4 minutes remaining, Oxford hit a three and a fast-break layup to cut Cambridge's lead to 57-52. After a Cambridge timeout, Oxford scored in the post and made two free throws off a questionable clear-path foul call, bringing their deficit to 1 point. Immediately after, Oxford got the and-one to take their first lead of the game, 59-57, with 2:45 to go. "Splash" Gordon hit a clutch floater at the elbow to tie the game up at 59 and Keji Neri hit a freethrow to take Cambridge up 1. After a key defensive rebound, Cambridge threw an ill-advised outlet pass for a turnover with 1:30 on the clock. On the other end, Oxford hit a midrange jumper to re-take the lead. After a medium-break Gordon finished at the rim despite a hard foul, retaking a Cambridge lead at 62-61 with 45 seconds to play. After he missed the freethrow, Oxford got a quick layup, changing the lead once again. A travel call for Cambridge on the other end gave Oxford another chance, at which point Cambridge committed a flagrant; Oxford split the freethrows to lead by 2 with 17 seconds left. Another foul put Oxford on the line with a chance to seal it.

Oxford hit one of two, giving Cambridge one last chance to send the game to overtime. Cambridge turned it over and Oxford iced it on the subsequent foul. Final score: 67-62, Oxford.