After going 4–1 in the regular season, the UTM Eagles women’s basketball team went into their semifinal expecting to seal their spot in the final. They dominated the UTSC team from the first whistle.
UTM guards Anna Bediones and Ashley Nguyen played extremely well in this game. Bediones got her hands in the passing lanes every time UTSC attacked. She stopped UTSC from getting the ball down low and from penetrating UTM’s defence. Nguyen was UTM’s main point of the attack for the first half; she picked up the steals from Bediones and pushed the ball up the court for some easy layups.
Both teams shot the ball poorly throughout the game, with UTSC missing their first 15 jump shots and UTM missing their first eight. The fast break points and layups allowed UTM to get an early 11–0 lead.
After a timeout by the UTSC coach, UTM’s coach Essam Nadeem put in some subs, who played the same hard defence and carried the team to a 15–3 lead by halftime.
The strong defensive play from the Eagles carried into the second half. UTM’s starting guards and bench guards controlled this game. Bediones, Nguyen, and Napta Elsadig dominated UTSC’s guards. They held on to the ball and stopped UTSC from driving to the rim.
UTSC went on a 5–0 run with 1:20 left in the game, but by that time the game had already been won. The Eagles held UTSC to just 13 points in 40 minutes to end the game at 33–13.
“This was a fun game to watch,” said Farrah Gabriel, a third-year CCIT and political science major. “I had to come out and support the girls, seeing as this is their one and only home game of the season.”
Essam Nadeem and Juan Arido, the UTM coaches, also commented on the team’s great effort and defensive playing. “We are looking forward to playing in the final,” they said. “We really want to win it this year, and hopefully we can.”
The UTM Eagles showed off their exceptional defence in this game. Their style of offence works for getting steals and points on the fast break, which is very exciting to watch. It’s hard to imagine any team defeating them in the final. Their fans can look forward to them bringing home the trophy next week.