By: Bill Ralston- The Brock Press
The Brock University men’s basketball team (2-9 OUA) recorded their ninth loss in OUA conference play on January 8 in the Bob Davis Gymnasium, losing 95-59 to the eighth ranked McMaster Marauders (8-3 OUA).
The Badgers were short-handed for their game against the Marauders as senior CJ Smith (Scarborough, Ont.) and sophomore Brandon John (Toronto, Ont.) were sidelined due to injury. Smith’s presence as an experienced leader was definitely missed during their match against the Marauders due to the Badgers’ young and continuously developing backcourt. The Badgers hope to have Smith and John return soon to provide much-needed assistance to their line-up.
Although the Badgers lost by a sizeable amount, the first quarter was a shootout between both teams. Midway through the first the Badgers were tied with the Marauders 12-12, but a late 8-0 scoring run in the final two minutes of the quarter sparked the Marauders offense for the remainder of the game, as they finished the quarter leading 22-17.
The devastating blows that subdued the Badgers’ efforts occurred in the second and third quarters. McMaster opened up the second with an explosive 11-0 run due to multiple scores from long range to extend Brock’s deficit by 16. The Marauders shot 11-30 (36.7 per cent) from beyond the arc overall, greatly contributing to their offensive dominance. In comparison, the Badgers were limited to six successful attempts from the three-point line throughout the match. By the end of the second, the Badgers were down 49-28.
Similarly, the third quarter featured a 14-2 surge in favour of McMaster, ultimately extinguishing any possibility to mount a comeback as the Badgers were down 67-39 at the end of the third. McMaster’s Nathan Pelech (Mississauga, Ont.) led the Marauder attack, scoring 19 points while shooting an impressive 4-6 from three-point range.
The Badgers’ freshman Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.) scored a game-high 25 points and chipped in with nine rebounds in the contest. Elgadi has continued his blistering scoring streak, notching 20 or more points in his last four games. Over the course of the season, Elgadi is developing a stellar freshman campaign, averaging per game 15.8 points and 8.6 rebounds this season. With these outstanding numbers, Elgadi is a solid contender for the OUA Rookie of the Year Award. Senior Tshing Kasamba (St. Catharines, Ont.) also turned in a quality effort, recording 16 points and 8 rebounds in the losing battle.
Brock’s 2-9 record in OUA conference play has led to a disappointing season, yet all hope is not lost in their pursuit of the playoffs. Luckily the top six teams in each conference qualify for playoffs, and the Badgers are currently tied for sixth place in the OUA West standings with Guelph University. The West has only two teams with a winning record, which provides the Badgers the opportunity to climb up the rankings despite their existing record. With 11 games remaining for Brock in OUA West play, they are still in a respectable and optimistic position to earn a playoff berth.
The Badgers will return home on Jan. 15 against the Laurier Golden Hawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.