After watching the women’s team pick up a win over the Varsity Blues, the men’s team completed the sweep in the second game of the Meridian Centre doubleheader. The Badgers, who are now back at .500 with a 6-6 record, beat Toronto by a score of 75-65.
The Badgers started off the new year with a bad loss to the then 1-11 York Lions last week, so they could not afford another loss to a subpar team if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Badgers lost their first matchup against the Blues by four back in November, but came out much more prepared this time around.
Already riddled with injuries, the Badgers were missing yet another starter, as third-year wing Kascius Small-Martin is sidelined with a broken left hand. His spot in the starting lineup was replaced by Noah LaPierre, who has seen a significant increase in minutes since Small-Martin went down.
The Badgers were led by Godsman Kwakwah, who scored a career-high 26 points off an extremely efficient 10-14 shooting, including four made threes. Tyler Brown added 11 points and 13 assists, while Daniel Cayer finished with a double-double of his own, tacking on 12 points and 14 rebounds.
The Badgers also got a career-high 18 points from Daniel Caldwell, who played 36 minutes off the bench and knocked down four threes of his own. It’s been a tough season for Caldwell, as the three-point specialist has had a down year in terms of shooting the ball, his greatest asset. Caldwell has played meaningful minutes in both of Brock’s games in the new year, partially due to injuries to other players, but also because his play has improved as of late.
It was a great ending to a great night at the Meridian Centre, especially after last season’s late-game collapse against Ryerson. Ironically the head coach at the time, Madhav Trivedi, was on the Blues’ bench this year as an assistant coach.
The Badgers have some tough games in the back half of the season, including three against nationally ranked programs. In what is always the toughest part of every season, the Badgers will end their regular season with the dreaded back-to-back against No. 1 Carleton and No. 4 Ottawa.
Given how teams have done in the past in the nation’s capital, it is imperative that the Badgers rack up the wins before that trip if they are going to make the playoffs. It will be a tall task, but not impossible by any means.
The Badgers will take on the No. 10 Western Mustangs this Wednesday at the Bob Davis Gym, before the 8-6 Windsor Lancers come to town on Saturday.