On October 30, UTM’s Women’s Varsity Basketball team took on the George Brown Huskies in their first home game, and second game of the 2019-2020 season. It was an exciting match up that had the UTM Eagle community involved from start to finish. Our lady Eagles soared over the Huskies with a 64-59 victory, improving to 2-0 on their 2019-2020 season.
The Huskies began the game on top, swinging the ball on offence and turning every UTM turnover to layups or open jump shots. UTM struggled early on but kept George Brown from completely taking over the game. Patient UTM offence led to a three-pointer by senior shooter guard number eight Trisha-Ann Vo, but the Huskies played scrappy. UTM forward and first year forward number 11 Sona Tissington hit a corner three-pointer off a pass from number zero Akashia Moore-Samuales to make it a two-possession game. Despite UTM’s efforts to keep it close, the Huskies ended the first quarter of play on top, 13-20.
UTM began the second quarter with great energy, forcing the Huskies into early turnovers. The ladies began closing the gap, keeping the score close with a couple of smooth finishes at the rim by senior guards Moore-Samuales and number two Jade Addai. Despite renewed energy and efficiency, the Eagles weren’t able to keep pace with the Huskies. Their play became sloppy, from missed open layups to poor passing. George Brown capitalized on two back-to-back turnovers at the Eagle’s baseline by UTM in the winding seconds of the half. The Huskies once again finished a quarter on top of the Eagles, leading at the half 19-34.
Out of the locker room at the half, UTM opened the third quarter with a quick two-pointer by second year guard number six, Janella Viado. On a following play, UTM’s first year forward number 10, Avery Torok hit a three-pointer off a pass from Viado to cut into George Brown’s 27-38 lead. Torok hit another three-pointer off an empty Husky possession that got the UTM Eagles’ fans on their feet. To end the quarter, a steal by Moore-Samuales led to a long pass down the court to Vo in the corner. Vo hit an off-balance, one-legged three-point shot that had the RAWC erupting in a frenzy and cutting the Huskies’ lead at the half to 41-48.
UTM was locked in to begin the final minutes of the game, and the crowd was with them all the way. The Eagles switched into a smothering man-to-man defense that left the Huskies scrambling to make quick decisions on offence. UTM’s Torok hit another three-pointer, assisted by Moore-Samuales, to cut the score 49-53 with just five minutes left in the contest. Eagles guards Addai and Moore-Samuales took over the rest of the game and the crowd loved it. Moore-Samuales hits a two-point jump shot from Torok to bring UTM to within two points. Immediately after, Addai dove in for a steal and scored a scoop shot layup on the other end to tie the game. A loud crowd, tight defense, and back-to-back layups by Addai and then Moore-Samuales helped the Eagles soar to the win over the Huskies: 64-59.
There were strong performances by Eagles guards Addai and Samuales, whose tenacity on offence kept the Eagles close against such a dominant team. The two guards left it all out on the floor, diving into the passing lanes for steals, driving hard to the basket to make layups and drawing, and hustling back on defense. Second-year guard Viado, listed at 5’5” and who was usually the smallest on the floor, led her team in rebounds which started the Eagles’ fast break. The UTM community, students, staff, and fellow athletes who came out to support the team were instrumental in the win, often nearly deafening in their cheers and support. They truly demonstrated what it means to have home court advantage.
Our Women’s Varsity Basketball team now improves to 2-0 on the season. The ladies play their next game on the road against the Algonquin Thunder on November 9, and they play their next home game on Nov. 17 at 1:00 pm against the Centennial Colts.