NUIG Mystics to strong

NUIG Mystics have qualified for the National Basketball Cup final where they will face Dublin club Oblate Dynamos in the National Basketball Arena on January 30.

The club will have two weeks to prepare after a comfortable 67-41 victory over Ulster Rockets in Cork on Sunday.

The last time these two teams had met Rockets had come out on top, dealing an understrength Mystics their only league loss of the season. However on Sunday a full strength Mystics, with Michelle Fahy, Marritta Gillchreese, Siobhan Kilkenny, Lauren Murray and Ailish O Reilly, came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and sped into an early 14-point lead.

Superb defence forced Rockets to make numerous turnovers, helping Mystics to a 19 - 7 lead, and although the Ulster side started to hit a few outside shots through American Emma O'Connor in the second quarter, Mystics continued to score with ease through Ailish O'Reilly and Siobhan Kilkenny. And, with Fahy and Gillchreese dominant on the boards with a huge 33 rebounds between them on the day, the Galway side led by 34-21 at half time.

Mystics used the third quarter to introduce their substitutes more regularly with Deirdre O'Shea, Hannah Coen and Leah Cunningham in action. Kilkenny and Ailish O'Reilly continued their scoring, leading to their impressive totals of 27 points and 20 points respectively, and by the end of the third, Mystics were ahead 48-30.

The Galway side took full advantage of Rockets' fatigue in the last quarter, created numerous steals and turnovers. Suzanne McDonagh, Emer Smyth, and Rebecca Hansberry got in on the action as they ran out handy winners.

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