NUIG Men Lose out to Ulster University in Division 1 Basketball League Final

In the Men’s Division One Colleges League final, Ulster University eked their revenge on NUIG today as, after losing out last year’s Men’s Division One Colleges League final to the Galway side, put on a shooting masterclass this afternoon to be crowned champions on a final score line of 117-92. A superb 37-point game from Conor Quinn helped his side home to victory as Ulster were the quickest out of the blocks opening an early lead in the first quarter. Two three pointers from Conor Quinn helped extend Ulster’s lead despite the best efforts at the other end from Tom Rivard and NUIG called a time out to settle themselves. Conor Quinn finished off how he left prior to the timeout with another three followed by a three from Ulster’s Michael Riopel. NUIG’s Eoin Rockall and Rivard were able to gain momentum with back-to-back threes and a few extra scores as they were able to close the gap to just two points at the end of the quarter, to trail 30-28.  

Ulster again started off strong in the second quarter, extending the lead early with threes from Aaron Goldring and Riopel, but NUIG’s Rivard again continued his inside presence with a basket and two free throws. NUIG managed to tie the game through a lay-up from Rockall, while Stephen Commins gave NUIG the first lead of the game forcing UU to take a time-out. Straight out of the time out, Sean Quinn tied the game with a three, and UU upped their defense into full court pressure. Sean Quinn continued attacking on offence getting a lay-up and a three along with Ajayi who continued to create opportunities going to the basket and finishing second chance opportunities. NUIG’s Rockall – with the help of Kyle Cunningham – managed to put back-to-back baskets together but Riopel had a reply at the other end to see UU into a 56-47 lead at half time.

A quick four points from NUIG’s Rivard opened the third quarter, but Goldring quickly replied with a nice corner three. Goldring started the half of scoring for UU with a corner 3. Ajayi continued converting second chance points for UU as well as adding a big three, moments later. For NUIG a fast break dunk from Rivard sparked some momentum, with good shooting from Rockall and good play from John Burke keeping them right in the mix. Again, UU responded with Ajayi and Conor Quinn converting on consecutive threes and Ulster held an 83 -68 lead going into the last.

A high intensity start to the fourth from UU saw Conall Mulan and Ajayi converting fast break opportunities. NUIG called a time-out and brought back Rivard to the game, despite his four fouls. UU continued to dominate on the fast break and NUIG just could not manage to make a dent in the UU lead as Conor Quinn and Shay Ajayi continued their scoring to win out 117-92 in the end.