The Brock University men’s basketball team (2-12 OUA) lost a hard-fought, high-scoring battle against the Laurier Golden Hawks (6-7 OUA) by the score of 98-88 on January 15.
Heading into the game, Brock’s head coach Charles Kissi, was very adamant about two Laurier players that they needed to stop and what the Badgers need to do in order to win the game.
“If you get rid of the three-ball, then you have a chance to compete and beat them,” said Kissi. “They have two really dynamic shooters in Will Coulthard (Oakville, Ont.) and Max Allin (Chatham, Ont.). They shoot it from anywhere, in any situation,” he added.
Luckily, the Badgers also have two key players of their own, in Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.) and Tshing Kasamba (St. Catharines, Ont.) who needed to play to the best of their abilities, in order to defeat the Golden Hawks.
“Tshing Kasamba is having his best year ever,” noted Kissi. “We have Dani Elgadi who can score in a bunch of ways… He’s shooting at 51 per cent right now. There are only around another four guys in the league who are shooting 51 per cent,” said Kissi.
With high confidence, the Badgers opened the game with both Elgadi and Kasamba scoring early buckets. Unfortunately, after Jay Fast (St. Catharines, Ont.) got into some early foul trouble, the Badgers’ offense cooled off and Laurier took a 23-12 lead after the first quarter.
After stressing the three-ball before the game, it began to rain threes as both sides exchanged three-pointers. Laurier’s Allin hit one to make the score 26-14. Luckily for Brock, three-pointers were not much of a factor throughout the game as Laurier shot 6-19 (31.6 per cent) from three-point range.
Brock’s defense came alive in the second quarter as they were able to deny the outside shot, but the interior game was still open for Laurier to attack. After attacking the lane themselves, Brock was able to get the deficit to as close as eight points and make the score 39-31.
Brock competed better in the second quarter but after the first half, Brock was still down 49-33. Laurier’s field goal percentage was incredible in the first half, shooting 21-for-36 (58.3 per cent), while Brock only shot 12-for-26 (33.3 per cent) from the floor.
The second half started slowly for Brock but as the third quarter progressed, the Badgers play began to get much better. Kasamba hit a three, followed it up with a long two, and then Fast and Josh Johnson (Simcoe, Ont.) both hit three’s to turn their 16-point first half deficit into a 62-52 ball game.
Brock won the third quarter 19-14 but still trailed 63-52 heading into the fourth quarter.
A killer three-ball by Allin opened up Laurier’s lead to 74-59 early in the quarter, but Brock never stopped competing. An 8-2 run by Brock made the game 76-67 and they looked as if they could make one last push to upset Laurier.
Sadly, the Badgers could never cut their deficit to anything closer than seven points and despite a valiant effort and high compete level in the second half, it wasn’t enough to get the victory and Brock fell to Laurier 98-88.
Elgadi led the way for the Badgers scoring 31 points (13-for-25) and registering 14 rebounds. Kasamba was also great, scoring 29 points (9-for-27) and grabbing 15 rebounds, with seven of those being offensive boards.
Allin guided Laurier’s offense finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jamar Forde (Mississauga, Ont.) and James Agyeman (Toronto, Ont.) also chipped in with 19 and 16 points respectively.
Bench points and free throws were the difference in the game as Laurier had 25 points off the bench and shot 20-for-21 (95.2 per cent) from the charity stripe, compared to Brock’s six bench points and 22-for-30 (73.3 per cent) shooting from the free throw line.
Brock’s next home games take place when Lakehead University travels to Brock for a doubleheader on Jan. 24 and 25. Game time for both is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. in the Bob Davis Gymnasium.