By Armen Zargarian
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) men’s basketball team defeated the Western Mustangs 90-79 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Saturday evening.
TMU used a 21-5 run in the final 6:55 of the first quarter to claim control of the game.
“We moved the ball really well and played with good pace,” said head coach David DeAveiro.
The Bold had eight of their 20 total assists in the first quarter and shot a scorching 61 per cent from the field. They also managed to get through the entire quarter without turning the ball over once.
“I’ll give our guys credit, zero turnovers in a quarter that’s hard to achieve,” added DeAveiro.
The Mustangs picked up their defensive intensity in the second quarter and forced the Bold into seven turnovers that led to 12 points for Western. Despite their turnover troubles, the Bold held a 16-point lead heading into halftime.
The second half started with the Bold missing four of their first five shots and turning the ball over three times in that span.
“We try to make the touchdown pass instead of keeping it simple,” said DeAveiro. “That’s what hurts us and we’re aware of that.”
Western took advantage, knocking down six of their first eight shots and going on an 11-2 run that cut TMU’s lead to just four points with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
Ankit Choudhary helped the Bold maintain the lead, scoring nine of his team-high 22 points in the third quarter to go along with nine assists in the game.
“We’re a very resilient team,” said Choudhary. “We have a strong mindset, we’re able to lock in and bounce back.”
A buzzer-beating tip-in from Bold centre Liam O’Leary-Orange extended TMU’s lead back to double-digits going into the fourth and final quarter.
“We’re confident in our abilities,” continued Choudhary. “When we lock into the details we’ll be just fine.”
The Bold started the fourth with consecutive turnovers but the Mustangs did not take advantage and the Bold re-grouped thanks to two three-pointers from Mouhamed Ndiaye, who finished with 11 points.
“We just have to figure it out earlier and today we came more ready,” said Ndiaye. “Going into Thunder Bay I think we’re going to be locked-in.”
Western was never able to cut back into the lead and for the fourth time this season the Bold responded after a loss by picking up a win—their 10th of the season.
“There’s always learning lessons from the night before and I think our guys took some valuable ones from last night into today’s game,” said DeAveiro.
UP NEXT: TMU will face the Lakehead Thunderwolves at 8 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse in Thunder Bay, Ont.