Bulldogs Fail to Build on Fast Start vs ARU

Bury St. Edmunds Basketball Club, sponsored by Kuda Automotive and Moreton Hall Community Centre, welcomed Anglia Ruskin University to Skyliner Sports Centre, with the visitors looking to cement their bid for a playoff place.

Bulldogs would be without captain Billy Smith though, following surgery on the broken nose he sustained against County Upper.

In Billy Smith's absence, first-year big man Denby Ablard stepped-up for the Bulldogs

Bulldogs started superbly, with a three-point play from the returning Denby Ablard (who scored seven points in the quarter) before Ed Spurling, Adam Ball and Vytautas Girdzius added to the scoresheet, as Bulldogs' offence clicked into gear. At the other end, Bulldogs held their opponents without a three-point field goal for the opening seven minutes, as the hosts built a 17-13 lead.

With just a couple of minutes to go in the quarter, ARU connected from range, and sparked an 11-0 run to take a 17-24 lead. The second quarter saw the sides trade baskets and small runs, before ARU closed out the half with an 11-3 run to build their lead out to 33-48.

The third quarter saw ARU put the game beyond doubt quickly, as they held Bulldogs scoreless and rattled-off a 10-0 run through the middle minutes of the quarter to extend their lead out to thirty points, and the sides largely traded baskets through the last thirteen minutes, as ARU took a 64-99 win.

Ablard (17), Ball (13) and Ashley MacDonald (9) led the scoring for Bulldogs.

"The scoreline may not show it - but we're improving" said Coach Arron MacDonald. "We have to give credit to ARU - they're a phenomenally well-coached and talented side, and it's no surprise that they're competing at the top end of our league."

"We made a fantastic start, and were playing the kind of basketball I've been waiting to see from this team, but unfortunately, we couldn't build from that platform, and it turned into a lopsided win for ARU. To compete in this league we need to play hard, play smart and do both consistently - and we simply didn't do that; but I don't want to be too hard on the guys, as we were much better than last week."

"We've still not played to the levels that I know we can reach, it's on us to stay together, stay positive, keep working and get better - the way we have to look at it is that the games are on the schedule, they have to be played, so there's no reason not to give every effort in every play, and see where that takes us."

Up next for Bulldogs is a trip to Hemel Storm II on Sunday 19th January.