By Raphael Chahinian
The 7-6 Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold Women’s basketball team faced off against the 13-0 Ottawa Gee-Gees coming away with an impressive 67-56 win at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Friday night.
Competing against the undefeated Gee-Gees, Bold head coach Carly Clarke said the team knew that they were in for a battle that would be anything but easy.
“We were very focused. Motivation was not going to be a problem against an undefeated team, so it’s all about competing, keeping composure and just playing,” said Clarke.
The Gee-Gees came out strong, scoring on four of their first five attempts and looked ready to build on their lead until a series of jumpers from first-year guard Jayme Foreman put the Bold back in the game.
“We’ve been working on not keeping the ball stagnant and improving our ball movement,” said Foreman. “Passing and kicking out is the most important thing for our offence and it’s what worked for us.”
The Bold struggled to set up their offence due to Ottawa’s strong man-to-man defence which led to the frame ending in a score of 16-12 in favour of the Gee-Gees.
The second quarter was filled with ups and downs but was highlighted by the Bold’s gritty play style. TMU forced five jump-balls which led to extra possessions that they capitalized on, taking their first lead of the game at 19-18.
The Gee-Gees responded with dominant post defence including seven blocks and 14 shots disrupted.
With seconds left in the half, fourth-year forward Rachel Farwell took the ball end-to-end and tied the game at the buzzer to close out the frame at 29-29.
The second half opened up with more competitive play and tight defensive sets with neither team gaining a separation of more than three points.
“I feel like our energy never wavered throughout the game and when we felt like the game was getting closer, we raised it up even more,” said fourth-year guard Tiya Misir.
TMU kept the pressure up and closed out the quarter with a made three to take a two point lead going into the fourth and final frame.
In the final quarter the Bold were relentless in their ball movement and overall play and never gave the lead away.
“In the team room we were saying let’s put our foot on the gas, let’s not let up and keep going because they’re a good team, so even if you’re up by a few they can still come back,” said Foreman.
The Bold stuck true to their word and kept their foot on the gas to snap Ottawa’s undefeated streak and come away with the 67-56 win.
The win was the biggest of the season for the Bold, who improved to 7-6 and have less than 24 hours to prepare for another clash against another ranked opponent in the No. 8 Carleton Ravens.
The win also came without first-year impact player Kait Nichols who will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a lower-body injury.
Riding the high of the upset, the Bold are ready to defend home court again.
“We’re ready for another battle, it’s always very physical to come off a back to back and both of these teams play strong defence so we’ve just got to rest, recover and be energized tomorrow,” said Clarke.
UP NEXT: The Bold will have a short turnaround, taking on the Carleton Ravens Jan. 21 at the MAC. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.