Gibson leads Badgers to pair of wins over York, Laurentian
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
After falling to the No. 1 nationally-ranked Carleton Ravens (8-0 OUA) and the Ottawa GeeGees (2-6 OUA) over the November 19-21 weekend, the Brock University Men's Basketball team (5-3 OUA) regrouped to sweep a home stand versus York and Laurentian over the weekend.
In the faceoff against the Laurentian Voyageurs on Nov. 27, Brock dominated in the earlygoings, leading by 17 at the first quarter buzzer. Junior forward, Mark Gibson, recorded his second double-double in as many nights with a 27-point, 12-rebound performance. As a team, the Badgers shot a season high 47.9 per cent from the field in the 91-77 victory.
The previous night, in front of a capacity crowd in the Bob Davis Gymnasium, Brock put forth a valiant team effort, sending the York Lions back to Toronto with their fifth loss. The final score was 70-61.
Although the game's success can be partly attributed to an off night by the OUA's third leading scorer, David Tyndale of the Lions, it was highlighted by exceptional performances by two veterans.
Andrew Kraus, a first-year Badger but fourth-year CIS player, put up 20 points in 34 minutes of court time. Nine of those 20 came from beyond the arc as he drained three of four treys. Along with the long distance buckets, a clutch fourth quarter in-bound lay-up by Kraus displayed his leadership role down the stretch.
The Badgers' spark plug versus the Lions was undoubtedly Gibson, a third-year Badger out of Toronto, Ontario. The 6'6" power forward brought Badger fans to their feet on a number of occasions. First, by netting the first seven points of the game, and then by putting back a monster slam in the third quarter. His consistency down low kept Brock's momentum strong throughout the match.
Over the weekend's two contests, Gibson averaged 24.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and two blocks. He shot 56.4 per cent from the field while being perfect from three-point land and the charity stripe.
Following his exceptional performance versus the Lions, the General Arts student-athlete was humble in a post-game interview.
"I think everybody stepped up. I wouldn't even say I had an outstanding performance; it was a team effort," said Gibson.
Long-standing Assistant Coach, Brian Mulligan, complimented his main big man and fellow Brock giants following the victory.
"We tried to go to Mark Gibson early and he really responded. I thought our bigs did a good job against their bigs," said Mulligan.
He also pointed to other aspects of the team's game that was resurrected versus York.
"I thought we played good at both ends of the court, especially on the defensive end tonight. After last week, giving up 108 and 96 points, we kept a good team down. [.] Down the stretch I thought our guards did a good job controlling the ball and working the clock," added Mulligan.
The other three starters for Brock - Cedric Kasongo, Mike Cruickshank and Anto Raic - combined for just 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Kasongo, who has yet to be 100 per cent healthy in his freshman season, had his poorest performance of the season. The Welland, ON. native shot a dismal 1-for-10 from the field and showed visual distress several times throughout the game.
Off the bench, hometown veteran Joel Whitty went an uncharacteristic 1-for-7 from three-point land. Luckily, his one three fell during a hectic first few minutes of the fourth quarter, steering the Badgers back on track.
"We've got great three-point shooters and we weren't hitting them all tonight, but we're good at gutting-out wins," said Gibson.
All successful clubs find ways to come out with the victory, even when their conventional means of scoring falls to the wayside. Versus York, Brock's ability to react to an off-night from three-point producers greatly contributed to the win.
"We were playing smart. If we saw a mismatch we were finding them. [.] Coach Rootes laid out three keys before the game and we took care of all three," said Gibson.
With an OUA West Conference that has four points separating the top five squads, the Badgers will surely require similar showings over the remainder of the regular season schedule.
The Badgers have the rest of 2010 off. Their next game is on Jan. 5, 2011 against the University of Waterloo, then on Jan. 8 against the University of Windsor. Both contests are on the road.