Kings drop opening game at nationals, Old College gets big win
MONTREAL — The RDC Kings hopes of winning gold at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association men’s basketball championships didn’t last long.
The Kings dropped an 87-75 decision to Vancouver Island University Mariners of Nanaimo in their opening game at John Abbott College Thursday.
“We ran into foul trouble early, especially to (Jacob) Cusumano and (Rob) Pierce, which seemed to take a little wind out of our sails” said Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger. “Following that we had to be careful with their minutes. We were able to get them back in but they couldn’t be nearly as aggressive.”
The Kings jumped into an early eight point lead when they had everyone available, but the Mariners went on a 9-0 run to finish the first quarter and led 22-20 after 10 minutes. The Kings struggled in the second quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game as they managed just 10 points and trailed 43-30 at the break.
“We came out hard in the third quarter and narrowed the gap to four points before seeing them go on another run,” said Pottinger, whose team trailed 65-51 after three quarters.
Once again the Kings narrowed the gap to six points in the fourth and had a chance to narrow it to four, but Ashaunti Hogan missed a layup and the Mariners came right back to score against the Kings press to make the gap eight.
“That just about did it,” said Pottinger.
“We had to foul to try to get the ball back, plus tried to use a press, which gave them some easier shots.”
The Mariners won the game at the line as they hit 25 of 27 free throw attempts.
Mariners head coach Matt Kuzminski praised his defence for the victory.
“We had some jitters in the beginning, and that was normal,” he said in a press release. “I knew our defence would be key, but it took until the second quarter when we held them to 10 points.”
Still Pottinger didn’t feel defence was the difference.
“We scored 75 points and that should have been right there, but the fouls gave them an edge,” he said. “As well they were ranked sixth, and should have been in the top four. Still we have to take on all comers. We had to beat good teams to win it. Now we have to look at third place.”
Pierce led the Kings with 21 points while Lloyd Strickland added 17, Demaine Nelson 12 and Hogan 11.
The Kings play today at 11 a.m. (MDT) against Keyano College of Fort McMurray, who lost 84-75 to Sheridan College of Oakville, Ont.
In other opening round games Holland College of Ontario downed Champlain St-Laurent of Quebec 72-61 and top-seeded Langara College of Vancouver stopped John Abbott 90-63.
Broncos 77 Thunder 54
The Olds College Broncos rode CCAA player of the year, Jylisa Williams to an opening game 77-54 victory over the Algonquin Thunder of Nepean, Ont., in Truro, N.S.
Williams scored 14 of the team’s first 39 points as the Broncos grabbed a 39-27 lead at the half.
She ran into foul trouble in the third quarter and sat out much of the 10 minutes, which saw the Thunder narrow the gap to 50-43. However, with Williams back on the floor the Broncos outscored the Thunder 27-11 in the final quarter.
Williams finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Melanie Hogue added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Jerri-Lynn Chisholm had 12 boards, Angela Driscoll had 11 points and Laura Belisle nine.
The Broncos face top-ranked and defending champion Montmorency Normades of Laval, Que., in the semifinals today. The Normades downed Mount Saint Vincent University of Halifax 67-44.
In other games Dawson College Blues of Montreal downed Vancouver Island University 65 43 and St. Thomas University of Federicton. N.B. defeated Fanshaw College of Ontario 76-53.