Artists see off favorites from south

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - Page 20

New Taipei City’s National Taiwan University of Arts fought off a feisty National Kaohsiung Normal University squad with a brilliant second-half performance to win the title game of this year’s University Basketball Association (UBA) tournament 76-70 in overtime and earn the second title in their school’s history last night.

Hsiao Hsuan-yi was the man of the hour for the Artists, posting a game-high 31 points to lead his team past the favorites from Greater Kaohsiung who stormed through the post-season with an amazing 10-1 record to reach their first-ever title game.

A full-house crowd at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City saw the Artists take an early 8-2 lead over the first five minutes before the future educators from the south came back to trail 14-12 after the first quarter.

Then, a 9-0 run by National Kaohsiung Normal early in the second put them ahead 21-14, before Hsiao led the Artists’ rally to narrow their rivals’ lead by one at the half.

National Kaohsiung Normal kept their lead for a good part of the second half and had a great chance of winning in regulation had it not been for their horrendous free-throw shooting, in which they missed more than 20 attempts from the charity stripe.

The massive blunder gave the Taipei side a window of opportunity to tie the game late in regulation time and ultimately set the stage for their valiant triumph in extra time.

FU JEN CATHOLIC 87, MINGDAO 80

New Taipei City’s Fu Jen Catholic University closed out their season on a high note by topping Changhua’s Mingdao University at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex yesterday afternoon to settle for a third-place finish in the UBA tournament.

Denied a chance to play in the title game after a tough loss to National Taiwan University of Arts in the semi-finals the night before, Fu Jen made sure they went home winners anyway by mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Clutch shots by Liao Cheng-hsin and Lai Lin-hao in the game-turning fourth put Fu Jen ahead by five points midway through the quarter.

Mingdao fought hard to keep the deficit within reach over the next four minutes and came withing one point on a score by Huang Tsong-han with 21 seconds remaining in the game, only to see Fu Jen answer with a pair of free-throws by Lee Chia-ching.

Miscues on the ensuing inbound pass by Mingdao turned the ball over to seal the deal for Fu Jen.

Liang Chen-yu led all scorers with 29 points to lead a foursome of double-digit scorers for Fu Jen, while Lee’s team-best 28 topped Mingdao’s trio of double-figure scorers.