AUG 00] COVENTRY CRUSADERS REPORT
Coventry Crusaders 87
Quinnipiac Braves 100
Crusaders served up a treat in their pre-season opener last night as
they fought out a thriller against the Quinnipiac Braves.
Braves, are playing four games on a ten day tour of Ireland and
England and came to the Coventry Sports Centre big, strong, young and
full of confidence.
in the top division of American college basketball, they were always
going to be a challenge to the Crusader side.
Bupa Crusaders, however, were fired up and ready for the offensive and
defensive onslaught the Braves gave them.
game was as fast-paced as it was exciting.
After the first few minutes the Crusaders took the lead and
held onto it into the 4th quarter.
Braves came back to tie and go ahead in the final minutes of the game.
lack off match fitness caught up with the home side and they simply
couldn’t keep up with the Braves in the last few minutes, giving
them the victory on paper, 100 - 87.
Stevens, new recruit from the USA for the Bupa Crusaders, made an
outstanding start to his English career with an impressive 32 points,
half a dozen steals, and numerous rebounds, including some three point
shooting from as far out as 25 feet.
to his contribution, Derrick Pope continued in the same unstoppable
form he left off with at the end of last season as he scored over 20
Braves found him an impossible threat to stop inside the key and under
Collins, still hopeful of being able to join the Coventry crew crowned
his debut at Coventry Sports Centre with an impressive number of
three-pointers and assists, also scoring in double figures.
was instrumental in getting the ball into Stevens and Pope’s hands,
taking the initiative in shooting when he was open.
Pope, fifteen-year-old son of Derrick, who started in the point guard
position for the Bupa Crusaders, exhibited a good display of ball
handling skills against the tenacious pressure of the Braves, who were
all his senior by a number of years.
Shareland and Colin Rhooms played excellent defence and both showed
bright offensive moves that added to the Crusaders attack.
efforts along with the striking performance of guest American player
Jeff Chapman enhanced the Crusaders performance throughout his minutes
Dip Donaldson said was really pleased with the overall team effort. He
in all, it was a tremendously exciting game. The Crusaders can be
pleased with their performance, however, against a top American
gave the crowd a spectacular display of basketball, and everyone
present a pleasant anticipation of things to come.”