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TMU men's basketball player Gabe Gutsmore goes up for a layup against a Nipissing defender
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Bold bounce back, sink Lakers by 34

By Aleksa Cosovic

Third-year forward Simon Chamberlain scored 16 points, while third-year guard Aaron Rhooms recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds as the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s basketball team sunk the Nipissing Lakers 96-62 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Friday night.

The Bold are coming off a 71-70 loss to the Algoma Thunderbirds, who had a 1-13 record going into their matchup against the blue and gold. It was TMU’s first defeat to the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. based squad since the Thunderbirds joined the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference in 2013.

The Thunderbirds own the second-worst record in the OUA this season.

“We went up to Algoma and we didn’t compete,” said TMU head coach Dave DeAveiro.

Plagued by inconsistency all year, DeAveiro added his team needs to find ways to stay in form. 

“The big challenge is doing it consistently. That’s how you beat the good teams, is being consistent. That’s our next step,” said DeAveiro.

The Bold got off to a hot start thanks to Rhooms and Chamberlain, who combined to score the first 12 points of the contest for the home side, forcing the Lakers to call a timeout less than five minutes into the opening quarter.

We went up to Algoma and we didn’t compete”

The Bold scored 13 unanswered points and led by a score of 16-3 with just over three minutes left in the first. It wasn’t until second-year Lakers guard Darnaz Mabanza sank his first free throw attempt to end the blue and gold’s scoring run.

“Our focus today was trying to stop [Mabanza] as much as we could because he gets in the paint a lot, he gets fouled a lot,” said DeAveiro. 

DeAveiro emphasized his team’s desire to practice hard and bounce back following last week’s poor performance. 

“For three practices, we competed really hard,” said DeAveiro. “We wanted to bring that energy from practice to this game, and I thought we did it early with the double teams, the steals and some easy buckets.”

The Bold continued to extend their double-digit advantage. Shortly after making a contested layup under the rim, fifth-year Bold forward Julian Walker sank a three-pointer from the left arc to give his side a 25-7 edge—TMU’s largest lead of the quarter.

  • Players from the TMU bench stand up and celebrate a three-point bask
  • TMU men's basketball players Lincoln Rosebush and Simon Chamberlain help teammate Gabe Gutsmore stand up
  • Players from the TMU bench stand up and celebrate

The Bold started the second on a 9-2 run before the first timeout of the quarter—leading by a score of 34-12.

TMU led by as much as 26 in the frame as they relied on their bench—fourth-year guard David Walker, third-year forward Elijah Roye, first-guard guard Gabe Gutsmore and Julian Walker—to do much of the heavy lifting, scoring 14 of the Bold’s 23 second-quarter points.

Gutsmore had 15 points on 63 per cent shooting from the field on the night and the TMU bench scored 48 of the team’s 96 points.

“[Gutsmore] brings energy, he attacks the rim and now you see him starting to shoot it. He has a really good chance of making the all-rookie team,” said DeAveiro. “We need Gabe to play well for us to be successful.”

When we share the ball, we’re so much better”

Despite shooting 2-10 from distance, the Bold held Nipissing to 17 points in the second quarter and outscored the visitors by six—leading by a score of 48-27 at the midway mark.

“We were trying to guard the paint more than we usually do, not letting people in the paint score, trying to stop their main guys,” said DeAveiro. 

It was a back-and-forth battle to start the third until the Bold went on a 10-0 run, capped off by a hard finish at the rim by David Walker.

Rhooms achieved his double-double when he grabbed the Bold’s fourth offensive rebound of the quarter. The Toronto product scored eight of his 15 points in the third.

“I just want to do what I can for the team. They rely on me a lot, so I just want to do what I can for them,” said Rhooms.

With the game already sealed, TMU began moving the rock around the three-point arc in the fourth and continued to find the open man—converting on six of their 13 shot attempts from downtown.

“When we share the ball, we’re so much better,” said DeAveiro.

The Bold shot 49.3 per cent from the field on the game and had five players put up double-digits on the stat sheet. After taking a game-high lead of 36 points in the fourth, TMU would walk away with a comfortable victory to pilot themselves back into the win column.

The Bold are looking to make it two in a row when they take on the league-worst Laurentian Voyageurs on Saturday.

“Tomorrow’s a big game against [Laurentian]. They’re going to be physical, they’re going to be aggressive,” said DeAveiro.

TMU is hoping to build momentum before travelling to the nation’s capital to take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens. 

The Gee-Gees currently sit atop the OUA standings with a 17-1 record. The reigning OUA champions have also won seven games in a row, while their cross-town rivals—the Ravens—sit fourth in the East division.

“It’s really important when we go on the road next weekend,” said DeAveiro. “We’re not looking past Laurentian, but it’s important that we win tomorrow, get on a little streak and go out there and be ready to play the [Gee-Gees and Ravens], and we’ll see who we are.”

UP NEXT: TMU take on the Voyageurs at 8:00 pm on Saturday at the MAC. 

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