On Wednesday, November 9, the Eagles gym was filled with intensity as fans got ready to see a reformed squad in action. The UTM men’s basketball team faced St. Michael’s College and won 94-74. The Eagles now advance their record to 4-1 and look to separate themselves from the rest of the pack with four regular season games remaining.
The Eagles had a fabulous start to the game, leading by 21 points in the first quarter, 31-10. UTM star player Greg Roberts was the major contributor in the first quarter, dropping 19 points. USMC’s defense could not keep up with UTM’s motion play. In the first quarter alone, Roberts made seven layups, most of them with an open lane to the basket.
In the second quarter, the Eagles kept showing their athleticism and diversity on the court. USMC brought out their big man to stop Roberts from getting easy layups, which opened up the opportunity for UTM’s Alessandro Tanzi and Nicholas Al-Rehany to shoot and successfully sink in multiple threes. With the Eagles also working hard at the other end of the court, the defense made it even harder for the opposition to make any baskets. Halftime came to a close with the Eagles leading 52-27.
At halftime, the Eagles had to substitute key starters due to fatigue, and USMC made easy points during the transition. USMC also made changes to their strategies and started cutting the lead by defending their court with better efficiency. USMC’s luck was out by the fourth quarter when the Eagles picked up their game and started to widen their lead again.
The Eagles won, with a final score of 94-74 and Roberts finishing with an impressive 32 points. At the end of the game, Roberts was asked what he expects from this season. He commented, “Last year we won the championship, so I’m just trying to get a repeat. This season, we have a lot of new players, so it’ll be tough trying to work up our chemistry, but as long as we work hard in practice we can get to where we want to get to.”
UTM Eagles coach Juan Nunez also commented on the overall performance of the team this season. “The transition process has been challenging, trying to get all the guys in the game and getting used to the system and the plays, both defensively and offensively. This season, especially for the first-years, I really want to see energy from them, doing the things that I ask them. I’m not expecting any of them to be an all-star, I’m expecting them to come out and play their game.”
“We started well this game and then it got a little bit out of hand. We weren’t doing our plays properly and weren’t playing good defense,” says Nunez.
The Eagles look to take on Trinity College on Wednesday November 16 at 9:15 p.m. in the downtown Goldring Centre. Their next home game will be on November 28 against the UTSC Maroons. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. in the RAWC.