PREVIEW: MBASK out to shock No. 3 Brock
Golden Hawks roll into St. Catharines with momentum as they look to stage a quarter-final upset
Friday, February 23, 2018 - Posted by Mac Turchan
Game Date and Time: Saturday, February 24 – 7:00 p.m. (at Brock, OUA Quarter-final)
Game Location: Bob Davis Gymnasium, St. Catharines
Live Webcast/Radio Coverage: OUA.tv
Tickets: at Brock
TOUGHEST CHALLENGE YET
The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men's basketball team (12-12), the fourth seed in the OUA West, made waves Wednesday night with their commanding 102-76 first-round playoff victory over the McMaster Marauders. Saturday night they will move up a weight class, facing the U SPORTS No. 3 and OUA West No. 1 seed Brock Badgers (21-3) on the road in the OUA Quarter-finals.
While Head Coach Justin Serresse said after Wednesday’s win that he was happy that his young Hawks team would be able to gain the experience of taking on a top OUA team in a road playoff game, it was obvious the team had loftier ambitions than just making an appearance in St. Catharines.
Laurier and Brock have faced off on two occasions this season and both have been well contested. The purple and gold opened their season against the Badgers on the road and despite missing star guard Tevaun Kokko (Markham, Ont.) to injury, the Hawks were right there until very late in the game, dropping an 80-70 decision. Their return match in Waterloo on Jan. 31 was even tighter with Brock squeaking out a 73-69 win. The point of the matter is the purple and gold know they can hang with the Badgers as they have done it twice before.
Like they were Wednesday night, Serresse knows that the opening minutes of the game will be critical to the Hawks success Saturday. The coach expects the Badgers to come out physical and confident, backed by a very vocal crowd. He believes that if his team can withstand the opening push and start to play their game, they will have a great shot to make the upset happen.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
OUA West No. 4 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
G Matt Minutillo (Brantford, Ont.)
- The type of player who has the potential to thrive in playoff-style basketball, the second-year guard was impactful on both ends Wednesday, constantly guarding McMaster’s most dangerous players while contributing 12 points on offence. If his shot continues to fall like it did against the Marauders, he could have a big impact on Saturday
OUA West No. 1 Brock Badgers
F Cassidy Ryan (Mississauga, Ont.)
- One of a number of offensive weapons on the Badgers, Ryan finished just outside the OUA’s top 10 scorers, averaging 16.9 points a game
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