Badgers look to close out 2018 on a winning note

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With two more games left until the halfway point of the season, Brock men’s basketball has already surpassed their loss total from a year ago. A win-less weekend out in Ottawa dropped the Badgers to 5-4 on the season and they’ve moved down to second in the OUA West division.

The Badgers suffered their biggest defeat of the season on Friday at the hands of the Carleton Ravens, 86-46. Then on Saturday, entering the fourth quarter with a four-point lead, the Badgers fell 94-91 to the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Against the Ravens, the Badgers were able to stay competitive, only down nine points after the first 10 minutes. However, in the second quarter the Badgers were held to a total of five points and the lead for the Ravens ended up growing when they held the Badgers to six points in the fourth quarter.

Johneil Simpson was the only player to reach double-digits for the Badgers, with 14 points, as the team shot 29.1 per cent from the field. T.J. Lall led the Ravens with 18 points, Munis Tutu added 16 and Eddie Ekiyor had 10 off the bench.

In the Saturday contest, the Badgers were able to create separation with the Gee-Gees at halftime with a 49-40 lead. Turnovers and foul trouble would catch up to the Badgers as they were a negative eight in the turnover department, and both Cassidy Ryan and Daniel Cayer fouled out late in the game.

While the Badgers did shoot 50 per cent from the field in the second half, the Gee-Gees were just a bit better at 54.8 per cent and were lights out from three, hitting nine in the final 20 minutes.

Gage Sabean was six-of-10 from three with 20 points for Ottawa, while Kevin Civil came off the bench to lead the way with 23. Every Gee-Gee starter reached double-digits: Guillaume Pépin scored 15, Calvin Epistola and Mackenzie Morrison added 13 each and Brandon Robinson scored a quiet 10.

The Badgers starters also saw success with Daniel Cayer scoring 19, Johneil Simpson added 16, Cassidy Ryan and Kascius Small-Martin each had 15 and Tyler Brown scored 11-points on four-of-five shooting.

Next up for the Badgers, to close out the 2018 portion of their schedule are the York Lions and the Queen’s Gaels at home. Queen’s, 5-3 on the season, is coming off a 64-58 win versus Lakehead and in their last game, the Lions also beat Lakehead, in a thrilling 112-104 triple-overtime win to improve to 3-5.

Queen’s will come into the game having a 4-3 record versus the OUA West. They’re led by Jaz Bains, who averages 21.6 points per game — third best in the OUA.

It’ll be a battle of the fourth best defensive team in the OUA versus the sixth best offense.

In five of their eight games, the Gaels have held opponents to under 70 points — they’re 2-1 in the games teams have surpassed the 70-point mark. On the opposite end, the Badgers have only been held under 70 twice this season and it came at the hands of the two best OUA teams, Ryerson and Carleton.

The Lions, who the Badgers will play on December 1, have played in a lot of close games so far this season. Four of their eight games have had a difference of five points or less, and they’ve gone to overtime twice.

The Lions will be coming into the Bob Davis Gym following a game at McMaster, so they’ll be a little more tired than the Badgers on the back-to-back after a Friday road game.

It’ll be important for the Badgers to close out 2018 with back-to-back wins and a 7-4 record. All their remaining games will be within their own division in 2019, giving themselves a real good chance at the number one seed ahead of playoffs.

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