After ballin’ out of control last week, the Brock Badgers defeated Simon Fraser University on Friday (91-83) only to be given the #1 stunner by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds on Saturday by the score of 78-68. The loss was the Badgers’ first of the pre-season and dropped their record to 3-1 on the year.There are two things in basketball that can make a team virtually indistructable. The first, Shaquille O’Neal. The second, great shooting from the field.
It’s quite obvious that UBC doesn’t have Shaq, but they definitely possess great shooting. The Thunderbirds’ shooting was so good in fact that they shot a blazing 66.7 per cent from the field in the first half. With all things being equal, it is amazing that Brock only found themselves down 41-39 at the half considering that they only shot 40 per cent. Strong shooting was not the only reason why UBC led the game from start to finish, Brock looked unorganized and had a total lack of court sense throughout much of the match-up.
Highly touted forward Eric Faulk returned from injury to make his second start as a Badger and did not impress many. Granted, the season is young and Faulk is returning from injury but numbers like 25 per cent from the field, three fouls and five turnovers are in serious need for improvement. Faulk can not be blamed for the Badgers’ poor showing though as Brock had 22 turnovers, were out rebounded 43-34 and were out shot 53 per cent to 38 per cent.
The Thunderbirds were led by Mark Tasic who added a double-double and a season high 32 points and 11 rebounds. Perhaps the bright spot in the disappointing loss was the continued strong play of James Quadrizius who led all Brock scorers with 20 points including 11-21 from the floor. Ryan Dudley also scored in double-digits as he added 16 points while Jamie Duncan had 13.
“We played a disappointing defensive game, giving up too many easy baskets especially in the second half,” said head coach Ken Murray. “Our shot selection was also very disappointing after taking quality shots Friday night versus SFU and coming out tonight rushing our shots and not playing in any manner of our style of game that we are capable of.”
Just one night earlier, the Badgers hosted the Simon Fraser University Clan and like their game against UBC shot the ball poorly. The difference between the two games was the strong play of Dudley who accounted for a third of Brock’s points as he had 30 in the 91-83 victory.
As tradition seems to have it, the Badgers got off to a slow start and trailed 43-40 after the first half. Brock’s second half was distinctly different though as they connected on 55 per cent of their their shots including an impressive 5-10 from downtown. The Badger on-slaught continued throughout the second half as they finished the game 11-28 from beyond the arc. The two teams exchanged baskets for much of the second half but it was Brock’s clutch shooting and strong free throw percentage that sealed the victory for the Badgers.
The Badgers had four starters in double figures, Dudley’s 30 points moved him into ninth on the All-time scoring list while Duncan’s seven assists moved him into second place on the All-time assists list. Duncan also chipped in 14 points on the night. Also in double figures for the Badgers were Quadrizius who added 14 and Falk who tallied 12 points in just 18 minutes of play.
“We battled back hard as a team for the second straight game,” said Murray after the game. “We shot the ball well in the second half and we hit clutch shots down the stretch to secure the win. This was a great victory for our team early in the season.”
The Badgers will look to start a new winning streak this weekend when they participate in the Ottawa University Invitational. Brock’s next home game is Nov. 2 when they host the Brock Invitational.