This Wednesday, November 21st the UTM men’s basketball team lost a high scoring affair against the Humber Hawks 91-77 to bring their record to 3-5 in the season.
Fans turned out in droves to watch their Eagles play and there was an excited buzz in the crowd during the whole game. The Eagles basketball games always manage to produce a fun atmosphere and tonight was no different.
The Hawks jumped to an early lead with some clinical three-point shooting and the Eagles found themselves down 11-3 after just three minutes of basketball. They answered the deep shooting from the Hawks with their own long-range game as the crowd roared for back-to-back three pointers from Nicholas Kwantwi into the final five minutes of the first quarter to make the score 13-18 and forcing Humber Hawks to take a time-out. They cut Humber’s lead to two points going into the second quarter, but that is the closest they would get to leading the Hawks.
In the second quarter, the guards started to run the court freely and pace picked up for both teams. This worked in UTM’s favor, tiring out the Hawks’ big men but they couldn’t gather up defensive rebounds and allowed far too many second chance opportunities. In a game as close as this, with both teams shooting at a high percentage, every offensive board makes a difference and the Humber Hawks were able to own the paint and it helped them win the game. Down 42-34 into the half the Eagles were still in striking distance and the crowd wasn’t ready to pack it in and leave just yet.
The Eagles and the Hawks spent most of their time flying back and forth and trading buckets for the second half of the game, which the Hawks were content with as they held onto a fluctuating eight to ten-point lead on the Eagles. The Eagles strong defense managed to seriously slow down the Hawks shooters, but they weren’t rewarded with rebounds and were forced to defend for up to two minutes at a time. It was like a broken record. Eagles played good defense, forced the Hawks into a poor shot, lost the rebound to the Hawks, and the pattern would repeat. Other than this one flaw it was very much a close game and one that the Eagles will feel they could have won.
UTM called a time out at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter to try and rally the troops for one last attempt at the lead. Gregory Roberts and Zamam Khan showed out and they combined to drop over 40 points in the game, but they just didn’t seem to be able get the much-needed defensive stops when it came down to the final stretch. Even John Filaber tried to energize his team with a monster block on Humber Hawks attempted dunk. Their best efforts couldn’t pull them any closer than the momentary two-point deficit early in the game and they conceded to a much deserving Hawks team.