By Alanette Gueco
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s basketball team defeated the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks 89-74 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Sunday afternoon—remaining undefeated on the season.
The Bold had to put up a fight to secure their eighth win of the season.
The Ridgebacks attempted a comeback bid late as the visitors cut TMU’s 20-point lead to six before the Bold pulled away to take the victory.
“You go on a run, where you make a bunch [of shots]. Sometimes you miss a bunch,” said Bold head coach Carly Clarke.
Second-year guard Jayme Foreman put up 29 points in the matinee victory, less than two weeks after being named the U Sports Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
The Bold went 1-11 from three-point range in the opening frame. Plagued by their struggles from beyond the arc early on, the Bold trailed by four heading into the second quarter.
Clarke acknowledges that their struggles are a part of the “young team’s” progress.
Despite their inability to capitalize on their shots in the early going, the Bold defence was starting to gain the upper hand in their fight against the Ridgebacks. The Bold successfully closed out defensive possession with five defensive rebounds to end the quarter.
The second quarter is where TMU swung into action and began to catch fire, shooting 50 per cent from the three-point line.
“As the game progressed, we started to get into the paint more, we started passing, that’s when our shots started to fall,” said Foreman. ”Knowing if this one doesn’t fall, the next one will fall, because we’re all such great shooters.”
Foreman took the lead in the Bold’s charge to take the advantage, scoring 17 points in the quarter alone—nine from the three-point line.
TMU managed to muster up three steals and eight defensive rebounds to sustain their defence throughout the quarter.
“We merge together better when we have the ball and we get our energy off of defence,” said first-year forward Hailey Franco-DeRyck, who grabbed five rebounds on the afternoon. “When we get boards, our energy raises up and that’s how we collectively connect.”
The Ridgebacks kept up with the Bold throughout the second quarter, responding at each step to keep the game within arm’s reach. Regardless, the Bold went into the break with a 43-37 lead.
The Bold’s balanced attack widened their advantage as the third quarter came around.
Six Bold players found the basket within the frame to expand their lead to nineteen before the end of the quarter. Fourth-year guard Kaillie Hall commanded the floor on both ends of the court with three assists and three steals to go along with her five points in the third.
“You can see her confidence growing every game and she is impacting in so many ways,” said Clarke.
The Bold took a game-high 20-point lead early in the fourth with a layup from third-year forward Lauryn Meek. However, the Ridgebacks didn’t go down easy.
Ontario Tech went on a 14-0 run to cut their deficit down to six at 70-64, forcing Clarke to call a timeout.
After the huddle, the Bold put their foot back on the gas pedal. A putback layup from second-year forward Jessica Keripe, a steal from Hall and a Foreman triple put TMU back in the driver’s seat.
The Bold rode the momentum to a 17-5 run for themselves and closed out the game 89-74, putting the Ridgebacks’ comeback bid to rest and keeping their unbeaten run alive.
Going into the last week before the winter break, the Bold prepare for two matchups against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks and Waterloo Warriors as they look to continue their winning streak into the holidays.
“I’m gonna clean some things up defensively and be ready for two big battles,” said Clarke.
UP NEXT: The Bold prepare for their matchup against the Golden Hawks on Nov. 29 at the MAC. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.