UTM’s Varsity Men’s basketball team opened their 2019-2020 regular season on the road against the Seneca Sting last Friday October 18. The men hoped to follow up the Women’s Varsity Basketball 68-59 win over the Sting, but lost 71-84. It was an up and down game from start to finish, but our Eagle’s should be proud of the way they remained composed and fought to the winding final seconds of the game.
In the first quarter, both teams fought to gain control of the game, but ultimately the Sting controlled the pace. Eagles forward, number 15, Shaquille David, started UTM off strong with back-to-back three-pointers and a layup. The Sting went on a run, pushing their lead to nearly double digits. Late in the quarter, number one, second-year center Andreas Jankovic, checked into the game and right away made a bucket, tying the game at 17 a piece. But the Sting were too hot, making a couple of quick shots off ball movement to win the quarter, 17-21.
The second quarter began with a splash party, with both teams taking and hitting three-pointers and short jump-shots. UTM was able to keep pace, but the Sting ran away with it, going on a 10-point lead. Number 12, senior player and starting forward Zamam Khan, made a tough and-one layup to swing the momentum UTM’s way. The Eagles seemed to click on defense, making stop after stop. Off a stop, David charged to the rim, got fouled, and headed to the line. He split a pair of free throws, making it a 6-point game.
The game got chaotic as the quarter winded down, with neither team playing very good basketball. Both teams played sloppy, turning over the ball, and neither were able to capitalize on the other’s mistakes. With three seconds left in the first half, Sting guard, number three Johnny Ankra, made a layup drawing the foul. He made the free throw, leaving UTM to take the final possession of the half. The Eagles turned it over, and the Sting took a time-out with 0.9 seconds left. Sloppy defensive coverage from the Eagles allowed the Sting to get a shot off at the buzzer, but thankfully they were unable to score. UTM finished the half, 33-48.
The second half began much like how the first ended, with sloppy plays from both teams. UTM cleaned up their act and went on another run. Khan drove into the lane for a right-handed layup and missed, but Jankovic crashed the boards for the tip-in. Jankovic, hustling back on defense, went on to block a shot on the opposite end. The Eagles, with renewed energy and focus, managed to cut a 15-point lead to just 5. Seneca went on another run, capping the quarter with a buzzer beater layup by their forward, number nine Ricky Ricketts.
Seneca continued their dominance to start the fourth quarter, leading the Eagles by nearly 20 points. Sting guards number four, Isaiah Ankra, and number eight, Raymond Yeung, dominated the entire game with nifty passes, easily knocking down smooth three-pointers. UTM continued to fight, but there wasn’t enough scoring and effectiveness on defense to close out the game, and the Eagles fell 71-84.
UTM’s Varsity Men’s Basketball team is back in action on October 30 in their home opener against the George Brown Huskies, and again on the road against the Fleming College Knights on November 3.