On the rainy Saturday afternoon of January 11, the UTM women’s varsity basketball team looked to push the season series against Seneca to 2-0. The opening game of the season against the Sting saw the Eagles winning away from home, 68-59. With an early lead and a never-letting-up attitude, the Eagles left the Stingers stung by the end of the game.
While Seneca sat on a 2-6 record, and a two-game losing streak, UTM looked to capitalize and add a tally in the win column to their already stellar 6-2 record and start a winning streak of their own.
The game began with a scramble at the tip-off. Both teams started with lots of energy and set the tone for the first half. Early in the first quarter, Seneca made three baskets in a row, turning up the pressure. The Eagles got more aggressive and found their way inside the paint, slowing the game down with trips to the free throw line. They ended the quarter shooting 2-8 from the free throw line. The two teams went back and forth to end the quarter tight. UTM just got ahead of Seneca after the first ten minutes of play, 14-12.
UTM took control of the second quarter early by making buckets, capitalizing on Seneca’s missed shots and turnovers. Seneca’s misfortunes continued, and a timeout was called after turning the ball over on an inbound. The Eagles tried to take advantage of their teetering opponent by applying a full court press, but Seneca fought back by scoring inside against a vulnerable defense. UTM stayed on-top going into the second half, 30-21.
UTM came out of the second half strong, with an and-one from number six Janella Viado. They continued their full court press and did not allow the ball into the half court easily. Seneca’s fatigue was on full display. UTM went on a 12-3 run, later making three consecutive baskets to put the game out of reach. Seneca failed to find much rhythm in their game. UTM took a 20-point lead going into the fourth quarter, 52-32.
In the fourth quarter, Seneca tried to shoot their way back into the game, chucking up a lot of threes, but failing. UTM’s Janella Viado and Jade Addai took over the fourth quarter, putting the game away. UTM would not let up, as head coach Salee Johnson-Edwards substitutes the starters in to close out the game.
Respect should go to Seneca for playing until the final seconds, despite being far behind.
UTM completed the series sweep against Seneca, winning 74-53.
As UTM breezes through the rest of their season, they cannot drop focus. Next Saturday, January 19 they face the Algonquin Thunder. In their last encounter with the rival team, the Eagles saw themselves lose 74-80 away from home in a tough contest.
They will have to demonstrate the good ball movement and pressure that was on display today and perform better at the free throw line. Next week’s home game is certainly one to come out to. The Eagles face the Thunder at the RAWC, next Saturday, tip-off at 1:00 p.m.