he Brock University men’s basketball team (2-14 OUA) lost both games in their weekend series to the Lakehead Thunderwolves (6-10 OUA) this past weekend at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.
In their first game against the Thunderwolves on Jan. 25, Brock continued what seems to be a dejected theme to their season by starting off slow but turning it on in the late quarters.
Tshing Kasamba (St. Catharines, Ont.) started the game on a mission and continued to show his dominance this season by getting two early buckets. However, after Brock jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, Lakehead went on a 7-4 run to take a three-point lead. After Brock tied the game at 9-9, Lakehead finished the quarter on a 9-3 run to take an 18-12 lead after one quarter of play.
The second quarter was more of the same for Brock, as they were having trouble scoring baskets. After another turnover by Brock, Ryan Flanagan (Burlington, Ont.) ran down the floor and a made a highlight-reel block denying the Lakehead player on the fast break.
Brock’s Nathaniel Gardner (Ajax, Ont.) made a great lay-up from a baseline pass to cut Lakehead’s lead to 23-18. However, the Thunderwolves’ size advantage continued to be a difference as Elgadi was getting worked in the paint, and as a result, the potential OUA Rookie of the Year was denied any points in the first-half.
Lakehead’s Brent Wallace (Brisbane, Aus.) and Andrew McCarthy (Scituate, Mass.) stand tall at seven foot and seven foot one respectively, so Brock had a hard time adjusting to the size as their tallest player stands at six foot seven. As a result, Brock was getting worked inside and fell behind 35-21 at the half.
The second half was a different story for the Badgers, and in the third quarter the team finally began to play up to their capabilities. John was running the offense brilliantly as he made lay-up after lay-up to continue to cut Brock’s deficit.
After a three-pointer by Jay Fast (St. Catharines, Ont.), the Badgers’ 14-point half-time deficit had slowly turned into a four-point deficit as Brock was down 42-38. Brock continued to battle throughout the rest of the quarter, and ended up winning the quarter 29-22. Brock’s impressive third quarter was not enough to take the lead, as Brock was still down 57-50 heading into the fourth.
Despite only getting seven points on the night, Gardner was monumental in the fourth quarter by hitting a big three-pointer then following it up with a two-pointer to make the score 61-57.
After a lay-up by Kasamba to cut Lakehead’s lead to two, Fast hit a jumper to tie the game. Brock had been down as many as 17 early in the third quarter, but had capped the comeback and were looking to upset the Thunderwolves.
Lakehead managed to get their lead back up to six points with only 1:31 remaining, but C.J Smith (Scarborough, Ont.) gave the fans one last hope when he drained a three-pointer just seconds later.
Unfortunately, that was the closest Brock would get as Lakehead went on to win the game 78-68, despite such a courageous effort.
Elgadi led Brock with 12 rebounds, while Kasamba scored 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting.
In Brock’s second game against Lakehead on Jan. 25, they were unfortunately never really in the game after the first quarter. Brock fell behind 27-17 after the first quarter, but was outscored 31-6 in the second quarter, which put them down a colossal 35 points at half.
The second half was a lot tighter, but the second quarter collapse was so large that they were not able to come close to getting a lead. Lakehead ended up winning the game by the score of 99-57.
Henry Tan (Hamilton, Ont.) was the leading scorer in the game registering 23 points, with 13 of those points scored from the free-throw line. Kasamba was once again Brock’s leading scorer with 12 points, and Elgadi led both teams with nine rebounds.
With only six games remaining in the regular season, Brock will most likely need to at least win four or five of them to make the playoffs.
The Badgers next home game takes place on Feb. 8 at 3:00 p.m. against the Guelph Gryphons.