Laurier: 58 Brock: 71
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. (February 4, 2017) – A tough game offensively negated what was a good defensive effort from the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team in their 71-58 loss Saturday afternoon to the U SPORTS No. 4 Brock Badgers.
It was not the cleanest game from either side, as the two teams combined for 41 turnovers at the Bob Davis Gymnasium in St. Catharines.
The Badgers (12-4) were rolling coming into the contest on a six-game win streak that was highlighted by handing the defending champions Ryerson their first defeat of the regular season.
Their confidence shone through in the early going as the Badgers were able to shutdown a Hawks (8-9) offence that was playing some of its best basketball coming into the game during back-to-back wins over Toronto and Waterloo.
The Brock defence was able to handle the purple and gold in the first half like not many others have this season clamping down on the Hawks, holding them to just 19 points on 23 percent shooting.
While Laurier was also putting in a solid effort of their own on the defensive end, Brock’s Dani Elgadi (Waterloo, Ont.) was a game breaker for the home team. Elgadi was undoubtedly the best player on the floor in this one for either team.
He had a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards at half and continued to pack the stat sheet against his hometown team, finishing with 19 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks.
A 15-point deficit at half looked to be too much to ask of the Hawks against a nationally-ranked opponent. However, they dug in on the defensive end and were able to trim the lead back down to single digits heading to the fourth after only allowing the Badgers 10 points in the third.
Turnovers proved too costly in the end for the Hawks. Though giveaways were a major issue for a young team earlier in the season, it had been something that the Hawks had cut down on considerably in the second half of the year.
The amount of turnovers Saturday was the result of some poor decision making combined with a swarming Badgers defence. With Brock heavily outscoring Laurier 29-9 in points off turnovers, they were statistically the difference in this one.Tevaun Kokko
(Markham, Ont.) was nowhere near his best on a 5-for-14 shooting night, but he was still able to pace the Hawks with 15 points. Matt Minutillo of Brantford, Ont., and Vlad Matovic
of Kitchener, Ont., provided quality minutes off the bench with eight and nine points respectively.
Despite the setback, the silver lining is that the Hawks played the No. 4 team in Canada reasonably tight for a full 40 minutes.
They will want a similar effort on the defensive end next Wednesday as they take on the Lancers (8-8) in Windsor. This could be the Hawks most important game of the season as the winner between the two top dogs in the OUA West will very likely be crowned the division champion come season's end.
Tip is set for 5:00 p.m. at the Caesars Windsor Coliseum and can be seen live on OUA.tv