Men’s Basketball grinds out split to begin 2012
Published: Monday, January 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 15:07
The Men's Varsity Basketball team split their first pair of games in the New Year, beating the Guelph Gryphons (5-4 OUA) at home Jan. 4 before losing to the eigth-ranked Laurier Golden Hawks (9-1 OUA) Jan. 6 on the road.
In the friendly confines of the Bob Davis Gymnasium Jan. 4, Brock ground out a 77-74 victory over a quick and defensively tough Gryphons squad. The score was close throughout, with neither side able to establish a significant lead for any extended period of time.
Guelph led 20-17 at the first break but Brock would respond, leading at half time by a 37-34 margin. Senior Andrew Kraus (Markham, ON) had 17 points and three assists in the half to lead the Badgers, eclipsing 300 career assists in the process.
The Gryphons would close the gap to one point heading into the fourth quarter despite an inspiring frame from Brian Nahimana (London, ON), scoring eight of his 12 total points including an emphatic one handed dunk. In the first three quarters there were 12 lead changes and five ties, but the Badgers would hold the lead throughout the last frame.
The Gryphons held the score within striking distance until the final two minutes when Mark Gibson (Toronto, ON) put the game out of reach 74-65 with 1:15 remaining.
The Gryphons dogged defense led to 23 Brock turnovers, but the Badgers would make up for it with a dominant performance on the boards. It seemed as though Guelph couldn't even clean glass if they were given Windex and paper towels as Brock out-rebounded the Gryphons 43-23. Head Coach Brad Rootes attributed the gutsy win to the team's hard work, but also pointed to areas of improvement.
"Execution wasn't exactly our strong point tonight," said Rootes. "We didn't play that smart or that sharp, but we played hard. Guelph is a very good defensive team that grinds the heck out of you, but when we pushed ourselves and did those little things like getting those rebounds and loose balls that's when we went on the [scoring] runs."
Kraus finished the game with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists. Besides Kraus and Nahimana, the Garden City duo Tshing Kasamba and Didi Mukendi got into double digits with 10 points each. Andrew Ferguson (St. Catharines, ON) added eight points while snatching 10 rebounds. Jameson Tipping (Orangeville, ON) and Mark Gibson (Toronto, ON) both put up eight points and eight rebounds each to seal the victory as the Badgers shot 28-56 (50 per cent) from the field.
Defensively, Brock held Guelph to 30-71 (42.3 per cent) shooting, including only 26.3 per cent from three point distance. Leading the scoring for Guelph was Kareem Malcolm (Brampton, ON) with 21 points, and Adam Bering (Windsor, ON) who collected 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Badgers were able to contain OUA Top-10 scorer Daniel McCarthy (Guelph, ON) to seven points.
Against Laurier, Brock's ball handling caught up with them, giving the high scoring Hawks 30 points off 26 Badger turnovers and allowing 35 more field goal attempts in a 93-70 loss. Michael Williams (Brampton, ON) provided the silver lining with 23 points in the loss. The Hawks were led by Kale Harrison's (Stratford, ON) 24 points.
The Men's team hosts McMaster (8-2 OUA) Jan. 11 at 8:00 p.m. and then Western (3-6 OUA) Jan. 14 at 3:00 p.m. Both games will take place at the Bob Davis Gymnasium.