For most people, November 23 was just another Monday evening. For the ten players on UTMs division 1 female basketball team, it was much more than that. This was the night they worked so hard for all season, the motivation behind all the wind sprints and suicide drills. This was their chance to claim that championship title that eluded them all of last year.
With a record of five wins and one loss, and a second place finish in an OCAA extramural tournament two weeks ago, the Eagles finished at the number one spot in division 1.
Although the majority of the roster consisted of returning veteran players, the Eagles are still relatively young. Under the direction of new coaches Neil Sehra and Andre Woodroffe, they showed significant improvement throughout this season.
Genevieve Maltais-Lapointe won the tip for UTM, which immediately led to a basket, setting the pace for the rest of the game. UTM took control of the first half, never allowing their opponent, PT/OT, to take lead. However, this was not an easy task for the girls. Despite a size advantage, UTM managed to secure a lead for the first half of the game.
During halftime, the girls regrouped, knowing that the game was far from over.
At the break, UTMAC provided a halftime contest as well as free pizza and drinks to all supporters. This was part of a UTMAC initiative that began in September to attract more spectators at home games.
The second half commenced with a PT/OT possession. They played a different, far more aggressive game. UTM struggled as their lead dwindled, but knew what was on the line.
They played their hearts out and, despite a few close calls towards the end, managed to claim the victory.
When the clock expired and the buzzer rang, the girls ran to each other in celebration. The final score was 42-39, with Ashley Nguyen leading the team in scoring with 15 points in her best game this season.
In January, the Eagles will compete at the tri-campus level. For tryout dates and more information, check www.utm.utoronto.ca/physed or www.MYUTMAC.ca.