In case you haven’t heard yet; the men’s basketball team is explosive, exciting to watch and they are off to the best start in school history.After defeating the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins (111-40) on Friday the 2001 Badgers became the first team in Brock history to start a season with a 6-1 record. Unfortunately, the historic weekend was marred by a loss to the Universit de Laval Rouge et or 82-75. Brock’s loss to the Rouge et or (one of the top three teams in Canada) dropped Brock’s record to 6-2 in pre season play.
As has been the case for much of this season, Brock’s game against RMC was exciting right from the get go. Just after RMC forward Kevin Dulude hit an 11-foot jumper to give the Paladins an early 2-0 lead the Badgers countered in a way that most students probably have never seen before. Sparked by a blocked shot and an offensive rebound by rookie Eric Falk, the Badgers went on a scoring tear. With the score 14-11 at the 7:08 mark of the first half, Brock outscored RMC 48-10 to take a 62-21 lead into halftime.
Brock could do nothing wrong in the first half. They had just three turnovers compared to 19 by RMC and out shot their opponents 56 per cent to 27 per cent. What is more impressive about the Badgers’ ability to cause 19 RMC turnovers is the fact that Brock was able to turn those into 26 points.
Jamie Duncan had an outstanding game for Brock as he scored 22 of his game leading 27 points in the first half. Duncan shot 8-10 from the field and added two three-pointers. He also had three assists and four steals in the opening frame.
Brock continued to press in the second half and although their shooting wasn’t quite as hot in the second half they held RMC to a measly 19 points. When the final whistle blew, the Badgers had posted 49 second half points and blown the Paladins out of the building by the score of 111-40.
Second-year forward Kevin French had a particularly strong game as he shot 5-6 from the field, 6-6 from the free-throw line for 16 points in just 13 minutes of play. He also had four steals and didn’t turn the ball over once.
After the win over RMC, Brock wasn’t looking for any five gun salutes as they knew that they had a big task ahead of them in the Rouge et or. Laval, one of the country’s best teams, came into the tournament with a 5-1 record including wins over Western and Laurentian. The Rouge et or’s lone loss came at the hands of the Carleton University Ravens in overtime.
With all the hype surrounding the game the only thing to worry about was Brock not showing up. Well, they showed up all right. In what some may regard as the most entertaining game that Badger fans have enjoyed in some time, Brock and Laval exchanged baskets and stayed within five points of each other for most of the opening half. For those that were at the game, one thing was evident; these two teams very well could meet again: the difference is that it would be in Halifax for the National Championship Tournament.
Ryan Dudley lead Badger players with 11 first half points and added two rebounds, while for the second game of the tournament Duncan scored in double digits in the opening half.
Brock looked to continue shooting the ball well in the second half and did just that as they shot an impressive 52 per cent compared to Laval’s 45. The difference in the game however was Laval’s rebounding and inside play. Laval finished the game with 41 rebounds with Marc-Antoine Horth accounting for 14 of those. He also finished the game with 28 points, a block and a steal. Unlike the game against RMC, when the final whistle blew so too did Brock’s chances of being ranked in the top five in the country when the polls are released later this week. Make no mistake about it though, Brock is a legitimate top five or six team and will look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Canisius on Wednesday. The Badgers will then venture to Sudbury where they will open their regular season with games against York and Laurentian.