Following a 26-point loss earlier in the season, the UTM women’s White tri-campus basketball squad led by coach Jack Krist were hoping to enter their November 27 home game with better luck. However, their opponents, St. George Red, whom UTM had previously encountered on November 24, controlled the game right from the get-go.
St. George’s Lola Soji scored a layup two minutes into the game after going coast-to-coast, straight into the heart of UTM’s defence. UTM had difficulty preventing Red from bursting straight to the basket.
Bianca Baumann gave White’s defence some problems, recovering rebounds and passing the ball to her team’s playmakers.
At the five-minute mark, Baumann sent a cross-court pass to May Muneeswaran, who beat two UTM defenders and scored, putting St. George up 13-4 and silencing UTM’s fans.
UTM White showed some spark; with 13 minutes remaining, Emily Goetz captured a rebound in Red’s paint and positioned herself near the free-throw line to score on a one-handed shot.
UTM’s Sarah May Edwards helped on the defensive end, blocking UTSG’s resident rebounder Baumann’s shot, though Red still managed to hold offensive possession.
Yahel Ihejirika and Baumann made their size felt in the home team’s paint, attracting up to three defenders at a time, which allowed their teammates to handle the ball longer and take uncontested shots.
Messy UTM defending and a constant St. George possession yielded a halftime score of 34-21 in favour of St. George.
The second half saw UTM lose its composure on both defence and offence. UTM’s Daesi Reale assisted Chelsea Bartholomew on an unmarked shot to begin the scoring for the White team.
Reale, along with Goetz, later continued the scoring effort. With 10 minutes left in the game, it seemed as if the UTM girls would stage a comeback after bringing the score up to 40-33.
The UTM machine surged to life with Sajana Saththiyanantham grabbing rebounds and converting on the offensive end, while Goetz took control of UTM’s offence and was once again UTM’s head playmaker. Goetz handled the ball expertly despite great defensive pressure. With five minutes left in the game, UTM White began to put immense offensive pressure on UTSG Red. But despite the efforts of Goetz and Saththiyanantham, they were unable to come back from their halftime deficit, falling to a talented St. George team with a score of 56-50.
“There were only five players on St. George’s team,” said Krist, who wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance. “Today should have been a win. Right from the start, though, we gave them too much room to act. They were more aggressive than we were in offence and pressured us almost every time we had the ball. Tonight’s loss hurt us. It shouldn’t have happened.”