Story by Zachary Foo/Red Sports. Photos by Joseph Lee/Red Sports

(SIM #30) in mid air looking for a teammate to pass the ball to.

Juliana Ang (SIM #30) looking for a teammate to pass the ball to. She had a game-high 22 points. (Photo 1 © Joseph Lee/Red Sports)

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NUS University Town, Monday, September 16, 2013 — In a topsy-turvy battle, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) emerged with a 49–47 win over National University of Singapore (NUS) in the Singapore University Games (SUniG) Basketball Championship.

The game was an extremely tight, as both teams traded scoring runs and was one which saw the lead change hands multiple times. Juliana Ang (SIM #30) led all scorers with 22 points. Teammate Jacqueline Tan (SIM #14) had a remarkable shooting performance, nailing all four of her shots from beyond the 3-point arc on her way to 12 points.

This is SIM’s first win in the competition, having gone down to Nanyang Technological University (NTU) 52–74 in their previous game. They are mathematically still in the race for first place in SUniG and they now face SMU in their final game on Monday. NUS pick up their first loss after they beaten Singapore Management University (SMU) 46–27 in an earlier game. They now face NTU in a big game on Monday that will decide the overall results of SUniG.

Both teams could not get their engines going at the start of the game. Players were able to get open looks at the basket, but they were unable to convert the shots. No points were scored until the 5:30 mark of the quarter, when Alanna Lim (NUS #10) converted a flip shot in the paint.

NUS found moderate success in isolating their man out on the wing, but the SIM defence was alert enough to recover quickly and quash the threat. This led to NUS switching up their play, focusing on getting the ball to Alanna Lim (NUS #10) on the high post and letting her dictate play from there.

After a somewhat anemic first-quarter performance, SIM stepped up their game. Juliana Ang (SIM #30) started to take command of the offence, assisting her teammates on multiple scores. Even though they were getting outrebounded by NUS, they managed to take the lead, going into half-time up 22–17.

NUS were more energetic coming out of the break, riding an 11–0 run in the quarter to pull level at 28–28. Koo Shok Chen (SIM #19) broke NUS’ run with a pull-up 3-pointer in transition, drawing cheers from the SIM bench. The quarter ended with the scores tied at 31 apiece.

The final quarter was a very close affair, as both teams traded baskets until the final buzzer. Jacqueline Tan (SIM #14) seemingly found a breakthrough after nailing her third straight 3-pointer, only for Vanessa Tan (NUS #1) to answer with one of her own. Clara Chua (NUS #3) made some crucial baskets that kept her team in the game, even though she was nursing an injury.

On the final NUS possession, with SIM up by two points, Jacqueline (SIM #14) managed to strip the ball away, effectively putting the game out of reach. The final score ended 49–47 and SIM still have a sliver of hope to clinch the SUniG title, provided results on Monday go in their favour.

Said SIM captain Zhi Mei: “We were initially excited and fearful as NUS is a tough opponent. We wanted to win badly, even though we knew it was 50-50 either way. I felt that we played as a team and managed to minimise our mistakes. I am glad we were able to make our 3-pointers and that we were able to hold on for the rest of the game.”

NUS’ captain, Shahudah, said: “I think we were not in the right frame of mind. We were initially really nervous and this led to a lot of turnovers. Eventually we settled down as the game progressed. I felt that the close game was really pressurising and I am glad that the team did well.”

Scoring by Quarter
1st Q: 4–6
2nd Q: 18–11 (22–17)
3rd Q: 9–14 (31–31)
4th Q: 16–18 (47–49)

Top Scorers
Juliana Ang Wei Theng (#30) — 22 points
Jacqueline Tan (#14) — 14 points (4 x 3-pointers)

Clara Chua (#3) — 11 points
Ong Jia Min (#13) — 8 points

SIM Roster
Evelyn Lew Yi Ling (#1), Loh Yu Hong (#3), Lee Xiang Lin (#4), Roxanne Yeo Yee Ling (#6), Por Zhi Mei (#10), Lee Xin Yu (#11), Jacqueline Tan (#14), Koo Shok Chen (#19), Liu Xia Yu (#21), Pham Hoang Lan (#24), Juliana Ang Wei Theng (#30), Chong Hui Pin (#72), Jesse Lee Ya Wen (#87), Zoey Chua (#96)

NUS Roster
Vanessa Tan (#1), Tan Yen Yi (#2), Clara Chua (#3), Tan Hsiang Yi (#4), Law Wei Ning (#5), Toh Sherlin (#6), Eva Seah (#7), Rachel Ho (#8), Tammy Wong (#9), Alanna Lim (#10), Ong Jia Min (#13), Tan Yi Lin (#14), Oon Zi Gui (#15), Nur Shuhadah (#17), Umi Amirah (#19)

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