The high-profile match-up at UTM’s annual homecoming was between the men’s varsity Eagles basketball team and an athletic Conestoga team. The stands on UTM’s side were packed as fans watched the highly anticipated match-up. Even though the men fought hard, they fell to the Condors 95-82.
The first-quarter was physical, with both teams contesting for the lead early on. Conestoga’s forwards gave UTM defenders all they could handle, with a strong presence under the net, attempting dunks on some occasions. UTM used hard fouls to counter Conestoga’s exaggerated style of play. Conestoga led 20-14 going into the second quarter.
UTM stood their ground in the second quarter, capitalizing on shots and making smart positional moves, allowing them to create open space and make the easy basket. Greg Roberts was the finisher, using his keen eye to score points. Conestoga ran away with a huge lead late in the second quarter by having all their players contribute in some way. The Condors proved to be a lot to handle, scoring points from deep behind the arch on numerous occasions. Roberts led all players in scoring during the first half, but being the only player scoring had its downfall. UTM had to find new ways of slowing down their opponents. Conestoga led 52-35 at half-time.
In the second half, the Eagles outscored their opponents 47-43, but that wasn’t enough to come back from 17 points down against the explosive Condors squad.
The men were able to put the loss behind them on February 3 when they participated in a tournament at Seneca College. The men lost to Seneca 34-22 in their first game. In their second game, the Eagles started off strong and were able to finish off the Wilfred Laurier Brantford team 48-41. Even though UTM lost to Humber Lakeshore in the third game 44-39, they made their way into the playoffs. In their first elimination game, they beat Boreal College 45-36, punching their ticket into the finals. It was a tough loss in the finals to Mohawk College, 33-35, because it was so close. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards for UTM.
The men look to avenge their losing ways on Wednesday, February 8 when they take on Woodsworth College at 9:15 p.m. in the Goldring Centre.