Bold lose after running into strong Carleton defence

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By Julian Bettencourt

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s basketball team dropped a 63-53 contest to the No. 8 Carleton Ravens on Saturday evening, fresh off handing the No. 1 ranked uOttawa Gee-Gees their first loss of the year the night prior.

TMU stayed within striking distance for the majority of the game, but the Ravens took capitalized on positional matchups and strong defensive play.  

“Credit to them. They made things really tough, and it was physical,” said Bold head coach Carly Clarke. “We got some good looks that didn’t fall and they have their system and they run it and it wore us down just enough.”

The Ravens are among the best defensive teams in the country and showcased that talent again in this game. Without reigning Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Defensive Player of the Year, Tatyanna Burke, Carleton stepped up to the challenge.  

Saturday’s first quarter highlighted the energy and passion of both teams better than any other frame. It had the usual grit of a TMU-Carleton matchup, with both teams utilizing a full-court press, forcing the opponent into turnovers and shot-clock violations. 

The highlight of the quarter for the Bold was a buzzer-beating layup by second-year forward Haley Fedick to end the frame. Fedick finished the game with a team-high 14 points.

“That was a nice one. We had a layup to finish the half last night too. We’re happy that our team is finishing plays and playing to the buzzer,” said Clarke.  

It was more of the same in the second quarter. Carleton had an early first-half lead, but seemingly couldn’t match TMU’s energy for long, as momentum began to shift and the Bold clawed their way back.

An impressive reverse layup through contact by fifth-year forward Eleanor Jones had the home fans out of their seats. The score sat level at 22-22 at the half.

The third quarter saw the Ravens begin to separate themselves. Ravens guard Kali Pocrnic made momentum-shifting plays all night long for Carleton, weaving in and out of the painted area while facilitating for herself and others. Pocrnic finished with a game-high 27 points.

Part of the Bold’s trouble containing Pocrnic stemmed from not having first-year guard Kait Nichols, who is out for the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury. She has averaged 10 rebounds a game in her young TMU career.

“She’s so physically tough, a great rebounder, draws fouls, and does some things that would certainly help us right now,” said Clarke.

The Bold opened the fourth quarter well, with a big three-pointer by third-year guard Kaillie Hall, which was followed by an important charge taken by Sarai Bailey. 

The relentless defense of Carleton was too much for the Bold to bounce back from. TMU forward Rachel Farwell scored her first points with only three minutes left in the game, a testament to the effective defensive schemes employed by the Ravens.

The loss means the Bold’s next matchup against the University of Windsor on Friday is all the more important.

“We’re going to continue to focus on getting better,” said Clarke. “I think we established what we’re capable of this weekend so we want to build on that.”

UP NEXT: TMU faces the Windsor Lancers at the MAC on Jan. 27. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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