The #4 ranked Niagara Knights men's basketball program travelled Southwest to take on the Lambton Lions and the St. Clair Saints this past weekend. In the opening matchup on Friday night against the Lions, the Knights were looking for their third straight victory.
Niagara used their size and strength to their advantage all night long, fighting for each rebound that came loose. The Knights outrebounded the Lions 55-41, which in turn led them to a lead on the scoreboard as well. The Knights would get back on the road and head to Windsor with a hard-earned 100-93 victory over the Lions.
"Once again we relied on sharing the ball and strong rebounding which leads to our transition scoring," said Knights head coach Phil Mosley. "Lambton made several runs but each time we responded and finished the game strong."
In the second matchup of the weekend, the Knights would look to take down the Saints in their own building. This time around, they would have no such luck. The Saints proved they belong with the OCA's top teams, as they handed the Knights their second loss of the season, 108-101.
With their weekend split, the Knights record sits at 5-2. They currently are sitting in second place in the OCAA West division.
Van Hutchinson Jr. (Nassau, Bahamas) had a spectacular weekend that further cemented his candidacy for the OCAA Player of the Year. In the first matchup, Hutchinson Jr came up just shy of his second straight triple-double scoring 25 points and adding 10 assists and 9 rebounds. The next day against St. Clair, the Knights loss was overshadowed by a 56-point performance by the third year forward. On top of his 56 points, Hutchinson Jr. also recorded 13 rebounds, four assists and five steals. The stellar performance marked a new career high for Hutchinson Jr., and he now leads the league in assists per game (7.1), rebounds per game (11.6) and is fifth in the OCAA averaging 24.6 points per game.
Keveshan Padachey (Markham) had an outstanding weekend, coming off the bench to record two double-digit scoring performances. In the first match, the three-point specialist scored 24 points on 8-12 shooting from long-range before adding another 16 points in the second game.
The Knights will travel to Sault Ste. Marie to take on the Sault Cougars in a double-header this upcoming weekend. Saturday night's tilt will begin at 8pm before an afternoon contest at 3pm on Sunday.