By Julian Bettencourt
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s basketball team got back in the win column after a tough loss to the McMaster University Marauders on Friday night, easily handling the Algoma University Thunderbirds 94-45 on Saturday.
The Bold went into this game with a 1-3 record and were hoping for another win at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) to get their season on track. Fortunately for them, their opponents are yet to win in this 2022-2023 season.
“It’s tough to play an 8:00 game on the road, get home at 1 a.m. and then get ready to play today at 4:00,” said head coach David DeAveiro. “I thought at times we were really good and then fatigue set in for some of the guys.”
The Bold stormed out to a 9-0 run to open the game, which included an impressive block and contested finishes by David Walker, who was coming off a massive 20-point performance against McMaster. At the end of the first quarter, the Bold already held an emphatic 21-8 lead.
The Thunderbirds brought more fight in the second quarter, even bringing the lead down to just six points. But after a series of steals and fast break opportunities, including a sequence that saw back-to-back dunks by Aaron Rhooms and Walker, the Bold were back into gear.
The pair connected again to close out the half with a nice backdoor find by Walker, and a contested layup by Rhooms.
“We just feed off each other’s energy,” said Walker.
“I know down the stretch I can look to David to get a bucket” added Rhooms.
The Bold’s positive run in the second quarter continued emphatically in the third. Their star duo of Walker and Rhooms couldn’t miss from beyond the arc and as a team, the Bold shot 75 per cent from the three-point line.
The team’s shooting efficiency combined with a hard block by Lincoln Rosebush and some big plays by Elijah Roye saw the Bold win the third quarter by a score of 35-3.
It took The Thunderbirds until the 45-second mark in the quarter to get their first point and the 15-second mark to score a field goal.
The only blemish in the game came when first-year guard Isaiah McRae had to go back to the locker room for treatment after an apparent ankle injury.
“This was an ankle injury that he had before,” said coach DeAveiro. “But we got great medical people who will take care of him and get him ready for the road trip.”
Third-year guard Ankit Choudhary put up all of his points in the second half and had a solid all-around showing, adding six rebounds and eight assists. A big dunk from Simon Chamberlain, and the subsequent reaction from the Bold’s bench and the TMU fans in attendance, summed up the afternoon for the team.
TMU begins a four-game road trip this week, starting with a matchup against Laurentian on Friday.
“Laurentian’s a tough place to play because their crowd is really into the game and they got pots and pans behind our bench so you can’t hear anything,” said DeAveiro.
UP NEXT: The Bold hit the road for a four game away slate and won’t be playing at the MAC again until the new year. Their next game is on Nov. 25 at Laurentian and tip-off is set for 8 p.m.