HALIFAX, N.S. (U SPORTS) – The Brock Badgers claimed the consolation championship at the U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Final 8 Championship with a convincing 94-57 win over the host Acadia Axemen.
It was a quick turnaround for the Axemen following their dramatic 92-87 consolation semifinal victory over Alberta in the late game Saturday night. Brock’s semifinal game Saturday was an 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT start.
“Despite the short turnaround, it wasn’t hard for us to get up for this,” said Acadia head coach Kevin Duffie. “Mentally and emotionally, we were there; physically, not quite.”
Despite a quick start from the Badgers, Acadia trailed by just four, 22-18 after one quarter.
Brock pushed its lead to 45-28 at halftime and didn’t look back. Acadia found themselves in foul trouble early on, limiting key players Erik Nissen and Rhys Larry to just 19 and 13 minutes respectively. Larry eventually fouled out with seven minutes left in the game.
Johneil Simpson had a huge game for Brock, finishing with 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Dani Elgadi added 23 points and 10 boards, while Ibrahim Ngom finished with 11 points, and Daniel Cayer chipped in 10.
Ben Miller was the only Acadia player to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals to earn Player of the Game honours for his team.
Forret Mahoney chipped in eight points, three rebounds and four blocks in just eight minutes of action off the bench. He would foul out too, as the Axemen were whistled for 27 fouls in all, including three technical. Brock had 18.
“We can hang our hat on last night’s effort and intensity,” said Duffie. “We’re learning the level of intensity you need to play at this level. We showed it against Alberta, and for three quarters-plus against Carleton.
“My expectations are high for next season,” Duffie added. “It’s so hard to win our conference. You play the same teams so often. At the same time, there are some good players moving on. I expect us to be part of the mix again next season.”
“We gained a lot of experience playing against the best teams in the country,” said Miller. “I had the country’s defensive player of the year defending me all game.”
“We were building up to this moment all year,” said Brock head coach Charles Kissi.“I think it was important for us to send a message to the rest of the country. We felt like we should be playing at 6 o’clock and we were a couple of points shy of that and we think we are good enough to be there, but now we have to start all over and work our way back next season.
“That’s all part of the process,” he added. “It’s what keeps you hungry and I think our guys are excited about continuing that journey to the end.”
Players of the Game
Acadia: Ben Miller
Brock: Johneil Simpson