TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Varsity Blues evened their record at 1-1 on Saturday by coming away with a 61-57 victory over the TMU Bold.
TMU, celebrating their 2021-2022 team who went undefeated along the way to winning both the OUA and U SPORTS Championship, fell short to the Varsity Blues in their home opener.
The game started as equal as it could be. Toronto tried to find their perimeter shot with chances from Jada Poon Tip and Lauren Boers while the Bold worked the ball into the paint. Early TMU turnovers gave Toronto good looks at the rim, but the Bold’s defence held Toronto from capitalizing, and the Bold and Varsity Blues went into the quarter break tied at 10. Both Toronto and TMU attempted five threes in the first quarter, and TMU made two while Toronto shot the better field goal percentage.
The presence of Rachel Farwell inside the paint continued to benefit the Bold, who recorded 11 rebounds in the second quarter to nine for the Varsity Blues. Points for the Varsity Blues came from in and around the paint through players like Sabrina Nero and Faith Joseph. Going into half-time, Toronto held a slim 22-21 lead over the Bold.
Three points was the most significant lead throughout much of the game, including the third quarter, as neither team could push beyond a three-point lead. Toronto’s ability to find shots around the key continued to be the primary source of their offence, and forcing TMU turnovers which led to 24 points off turnovers allowed them to keep with the Bold and keep momentum going. Going into the fourth quarter, the Bold led 42-41.
Much like the first three quarters, the fourth focused on execution for both sides and taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Whether it was getting out in transition and taking advantage of a Toronto defence unable to get set up for the Bold or forcing their way to the paint for a layup or a foul for the Varsity Blues, the two teams traded leads as the game came down to the wire. When Jessica Muha put the game at 57-53 for the Varsity Blues with a layup, Tiya Misir answered with a made free throw, but Ellen Ougrinov came right back with two free throws of her own to make it 59-54 Toronto. A three from Rachel Farwell put the Bold at 57 but Jessica Muha getting to the line put the Varsity Blues at 61 and the victory out of reach for the Bold with just four seconds left.
Jada Poon Tip finished with 13 points to lead the Varsity Blues, one of 10 players who got on the scoreboard for Toronto. On the side of the Bold, Rachel Farwell was a constant finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds with four assists, three blocks and four steals. Jayme Foreman added 12 points and three rebounds.
TMU ends the opening week of the 2022-2023 season 0-1, while the Varsity Blues move to 1-1. The Bold and Varsity Blues will see each other again on Wednesday, November 9, at Toronto for a rematch kicking off the second week of the 2022-2023 season.