Story and photos by Low Zheng Yu/Red Sports

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Sara Choong (SIT #17) splits the defense and goes in for two. She had a game-high 28 points. (Photo 1 © Low Zheng Yu/Red Sports)

NTU The Wave, Tuesday, September 19, 2017 — Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) played well down the stretch to defeat Singapore Management University (SMU) 50-46 in the Singapore University Games Women’s Basketball Championship.

SIT improve to a 1-1 win-loss record after this win. They lost to Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) previously and will face Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) next.

On the other hand, the loss drops SMU to a 0-2 record. They lost to Nanyang Technological Universtiy (NTU) previously and will face National University of Singapore (NUS) next.

SMU got off to a good start. They hustled and were able to get their shots off. On the other hand, SIT had trouble making their open shots. Knowing that, the SIT players drove in more to draw fouls and were able to keep the game close via their free-throws. Sara Choong (SIT #17) knocked down a three for SIT but SMU led 11-8 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, SMU continued to assert dominance in both defense and offense. Defensively, they were closing on the driving lanes and securing the defensive rebounds while making use of mismatches and good passes to make open shots. SMU increased their lead to seven and led 27-20 at the half.

However, SIT took the halftime break to compose themselves and came into the third quarter aggressive. They upped their defensive intensity and prevented SMU from scoring easily. SIT were able to make use of their defense to close the gap in points to lead 34-33 after the third.

Joey Tan (SMU #9) dislocated her shoulder in the third quarter but was able to pop it back in. She came back in the fourth quarter and made several good plays to help SMU cut the lead SIT had built up in the fourth.

Despite that, Sara Choong (SIT #17) had ice in her veins as she knocked down huge shots and made clutch free-throws down the stretch to maintain SIT’s lead. Sara (SIT #17) finished with a game-high 28 points.

“I just wanted to calm myself down and make the last few shots as I missed the previous two. And these points would have really helped us to sustain and hold out to get the win for the game,” said Sara (SIT #17).

“I feel like SIT being the underdogs, coming off the last SIM game, we were actually pretty close. Being the underdogs, we feel that we have something to prove this season and we have put up a pretty good fight so far for the past games. It is definitely better than last year.”

While SMU had a chance to even out the game in the final few seconds, they were not able to handle the pressure which led to a costly turnover. SIT eventually took the game 50-46.

Captain Heng Hee Leng (SIT #8) commented, “Our defense was very still at the start and we didn’t take the initiative offensively. But we took the halftime break to set our mind back on track, thinking about how hard we have trained for the past few months, and hence came out stronger in the third to chase down the points.

“After we got the lead, the team morale was high and everyone did not want to give up the lead and gave their hundred percent. I know my girls really wanted to win the game as we trained really hard after our loss to them (SMU) last year. Personally, I could have done more but for now, ‘Good job, girls.'”

Scoring by Quarter
1st Q: 08-11
2nd Q: 12-16 (20-27)
3rd Q: 14-06 (34-33)
4th Q: 16-13 (50-46)

Top Scorers
Choong Si Ying Sara (#17) – 28 pts

Bella Tan Jiale (#7) – 15 pts
Low Xuan Ming Maverlyn (#3) – 12 pts

SIT Roster
Neo Ying Qi (#2), Chu Yue Ning Jolene (#4), Ng Su Rui (#5), Chew Su Bing (#7), Heng Hee Leng (#8), Vanessa Soong Xin Lin (#9), Elizabeth Wong Wan Ee (#11), Ong Man Yu (#12), Melissa Lim Liyin (#13), Sheena Ting Jia Wen (#14), Choong Si Ying Sara (#17), Daphne Saw Zi Wei (#76), Nicolette Ong Ying Hong (#77)

SMU Roster
Lee Si Yi (#1), Low Xuan Ming Maverlyn (#3), Tan Yan Wen, Sara (#5), Soh Jia Xuan (#6), Bella Tan Jiale (#7), Joey Tan (#9), Tan Wan Mei, Sara (#10), Lui Si Xuan (#11), Tho Shu Ting Belinda (#12), Au Li Jun (#14), Ong Jia Hui (#18), Centaine Alexandra Zuleika Perera (#23), Tan Hui Si (#27), Lim Jie En (#28), Zhu Ruijie (#33)

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