By Armen Zargarian
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) men’s basketball team fell to the No. 3 Ottawa Gee-Gees 86-72 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Friday night.
The game began with TMU scoring on all six of their first possessions and jumping out to an 11-2 lead— forcing Ottawa to call a timeout to regroup.
Ottawa settled in and took their first lead 20-18, behind a three-pointer from Jacques-Melanie Guemeta. Guemeta finished with 16 points on 66.7 per cent shooting.
“When they called their timeout, we got away from our game plan defensively,” said head coach David DeAveiro.
The Bold planned to limit the Gee-Gees three-point shooting, but the Gee-Gees managed to hit 12 threes on 54 per cent shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
One of the Gee-Gees’ three-pointers came on the final play of the first quarter to extend their lead to six points.
Fourth-year guard Mouhamed Ndiaye entered the game at the 7:48 mark of the second quarter, his first action with TMU since March 2022. Ndiaye has been away from the team this season due to a hip injury.
“I’ve been working on coming back, slowly my body is feeling better,” said Ndiaye. “I think we are better than last year, it’s all about getting it together and keeping each other accountable.”
Ndiaye connected on his only two shots, a stepback baseline jumper then a catch-and-shoot three from the opposite corner that tied the game at 42 with five minutes left in the first half.
“I missed it; the crowd, the noise, feeling the ball,” said Ndiaye. “Hopefully the best is yet to come.”
The Gee-Gees closed on an 8-2 run and led 50-44 heading into the halftime break.
Ottawa built on their momentum from the first half in the third quarter, and despite multiple efforts by the Bold, Ottawa pushed their lead to 12 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Our problem was scoring,” said DeAveiro. “We were selfish, tried to go one against five.”
A bright spot for TMU was Lincoln Rosebush, who had one of his best games of the season.
“For me, it’s been up and down, and I think that’s a reflection of us as a unit as well,” said Rosebush, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“Coach challenged me to get more physical,” said Rosebush. “It’s just about finding a flow and playing it more like a football game than a basketball game.”
A steal by David Walker led to a fastbreak layup for Ankit Choudhary that cut Ottawa’s lead to 74-68.
After a timeout, Ottawa responded with five straight points to push the lead back to double-digits and put the Bold away for good.
“We’re not quite mature enough yet,” said DeAveiro. “Our goal is to be at our best in the playoffs, we can take games like this and learn a lot from it.”
UP NEXT: TMU will face the Carleton Ravens at 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the MAC in Toronto.