NUI Galway were the big winners at college basketball’s biggest event, winning both the men’s A and women’s B intervarsity titles for 2015.
The men picked up their first title since 2010 with a 77-69 win over University of Ulster in Jordanstown, while the women ran out 77-44 winners over DIT in their final.
The men were stacked with forward prowess and Claregalway All-Star Kenneth Hansberry wasted no time in getting his first four points of the day. His physicality and combination with American Darryl Durham gave the Westerners plenty of open looks inside and a 22-14 lead for the first quarter. NUIG went 38-23 clear, but their momentum seemed to stall until strong offensive rebounding from Durham gave him a three point play and a tip in.
The women were convincing winners over DIT depite both sides hitting their stride quickly in a high-scoring quarter. Nicole Krusen connected with her first basket of the morning, but Shauna Kavanagh replied in kind as DIT opened up a 9-3 lead. Deirdre O’Shea hit a couple of shots on the run to bring NUIG back into things and the game accelerated as Ailish O’Reilly ran the floor and chipped a flurry of assists on the break. DIT couldn’t get a sniff on half-court defence with the Galway students zip-lining the ball to each other.
NUIG’s basketball development officer, Mike Murray, who had a son and a daughter in the winning squads, says: “It’s means a lot for the sports department in NUIG, our athletic director Cathy Hynes, and for basketball in general locally. It’s going to be a major major boost.”
NUIG Men: Darryl Durham (22 ), Kenneth Hansberry (19 ), Sean Candon (7 ), Stephen O’Brien (6 ), Padraig Burke (4 ). Substitutes: Ronan O’Sullivan (15 ), Rory Gilson (5 ), Joseph Tummon.
NUIG Women: Nicole Krusen (27 ), Ailish O’Reilly (20 ), Marine Airault (7 ), Deirdre O’Shea (6 ), Lauren Murray (4 )Substitutes: Alva Crowley (5 ), Hannah Coen (5 ), Emer Smith (4 ), Laura O’Toole, Sarah Grealish.