After wins over Ryerson and Royal Military College last weekend, the men’s basketball team travelled to London to take on the University of Western Ontario Mustangs in an effort to extend their winning streak to three.Brock trailed 34-33 after the first half but the Mustang shooters heated up and Brock never recovered, dropping a 78-67 decision to the hometown squad.
“We made it hard for them to score inside in the first half but in the second half they were able to get inside for easy baskets,” said guard Trevor Harding. “It’s the end of the season and we should know our stuff and for whatever reason we just didn’t run our offense.”
Brock did not start the game well, as Western connected on three straight jumpers before the Badgers got on the board and extended their lead to nine points before five minutes of play had elapsed. Perhaps a little sluggish from a week without playing, Brock finally got things rolling at the mid-way mark of the opening half when Harding hit a lay-up after a Brock time out to spur a 6-2 Badger run to close the Mustang lead to 15-13.
Western quickly countered with a run of their own, outscoring Brock 11-2 over a five-minute span. Brock continued the seesaw trend closing the half with an 18-8 run.
Harding made a good first-half impression as he stepped in to record five points in just eight minutes. He went 3-3 from the field including a three-pointer. Jamie Duncan led Brock scorers in the first as he had 10 points.
As was the case in the first, Brock had difficulty getting out of the blocks and in the second half the Mustangs extended their lead from just one to 10 in a matter of four minutes. And, as basketball would have it, Brock responded on a three from Ryan Dudley on way to a 6-0 Badger burst of offense that brought Brock within four with 12 minutes to play. After one more Brock charge, the Mustangs showed that they were the better team on this day as they extended their lead back to double digits and defeated Brock 78-67.
“Their offensive spurt to begin the second half killed us. We couldn’t score like we did in the second half and we couldn’t get their guys into foul trouble like we did in the first,” said co-captain Ryan Dudley. “That is why they are one of the best teams in the country.” Brock will try to get back on the winning side of the ball when they travel to Wilfrid Laurier on Wednesday to play the Golden Hawks. The Badgers currently sit in fourth spot in the Ontario University Athletics West division. Laurier is in the third, so Wednesday’s match-up is crucial in Brock’s quest to capture home-court advantage for the playoffs. The Golden Hawks have already defeated the Badgers back in December so look for Brock to come out strong to avoid the season sweep. With the win, Laurier would also hold the tiebreaker over Brock.