The UTM Division 1 Blue men’s basketball team played against Woodsworth on Tuesday for the second week in a row. When the teams faced off last week, Woodsworth beat UTM by a whopping 60–34.
The Eagles were determined to redeem themselves, but started off the game slowly, allowing their opponents to get a good lead. The game looked like it was going to be a blowout, until UTM players Jonathan Harvey and Faiz Ahmed started hitting all of their shots.
The Eagles picked up their pace once the crowd, which was larger than usual, started cheering them on. The cheering seemed to add to the players’ confidence, which translated to better defensive play. UTM proved that they were not going down without a fight and began closing the gap in the score. Woodsworth became frustrated and took a few timeouts to recuperate.
The Eagles’ bench was lively and players were encouraging their teammates. By the end of the first half, Woodsworth’s players were tiring (they had only one substitute), and the Eagles tied the score at 26–26. Harvey had racked up nine points, while Ahmed had eight.
The intensity continued in the second half and the score stayed close throughout. The rivals were hungry for the win and it showed in the last few minutes of the game. Both teams committed many fouls and were in double bonus. Woodsworth’s players intentionally fouled UTM’s to get possession. Unfortunately for Woodworth, UTM was almost flawless from the free-throw line; the Eagles netted 10 out of 11 foul shots, while Woodsworth only scored on five of their 11.
In the last minute of the game, the Eagles were up by three and just had to keep their opponents from scoring again. The players on the bench were yelling and the crowd was on the edge of their seats. The last 60 seconds of the game were played, and the Eagles kept Woodsworth from scoring. The final score was 63–60. The players and fans were rewarded with free pizza ordered by UTMAC.
Harvey was the top scorer of the game, with 27 points—half of UTM’s total. He wowed the crowd in the second half, scoring three three-pointers, seven foul shots, and a bucket.
“We were feeding off the crowd a lot and we really wanted to win this game, because last time [Woodsworth] beat us by 20 points,” said Harvey after the game.
“This was a win we had to have, because they disrespected us when we played [on their court],” said Osama Abdelkader, a team veteran.