Team Northumbria play their 10th game in 24 days against Reading Rockets on Saturday with head coach Marc Steutel admitting a hectic schedule is hitting his players hard.
The first division’s defending champions face two games in two days at Sport Central following this week’s BUCS Big Wednesday final against Loughborough University.
And Steutel revealed a punishing programme is taking its toll on a group of players who managed to clinch a big win in Kent on Sunday – after losing 64-63 in Loughborough a day earlier.
“The schedule is a massive demand on the players,” said the Northumbria University head coach.
“We are dealing with this the best we can but it is a massive challenge.”
Current BUCS Premier North champions Northumbria will be looking for revenge after Loughborough denied the Tynesiders their BUCS Big Wednesday final berth in 2017.
And Steutel added: “We played Loughborough’s Division One team on Saturday but they will have three BBL players added in for Wednesday who make a big difference.
“But we are excited for the final and will prepare accordingly.”
Loughborough are the current holders and have only lost once all season in university competition – doing the double over Northumbria in both BUCS and the NBL.
TN recovered from their narrow defeat on Saturday with a trip down to Kent Crusaders the following day where they got the job done with a 77-64 victory.
“Every game is a big game regardless of the last result against a team,” added Stuetel.
“We need to focus on doing what we need to as a team to overcome a talented Reading side.
“We always like to play at home, mainly to eradicate travelling. We have to make that advantage count.”
TN could climb to third with a win against the Rockets (4pm tip). Leicester Warriors visit Sport Central on Sunday with the action underway from 4pm.
Report by Dan Simmonite