The Niagara Knights men's basketball program will host their OCAA crossover match after finishing the season with a 15-5 record, good enough for third place in the OCAA West Division. Their opponent, the Loyalist Lancers, finished their season in fifth place in the OCAA East with an 11-9 record.
This is the first time the Knights and Lancers will square off in an official game this season, however the two teams did meet at the Niagara Invitational Tournament on January 3rd. The Knights earned a 71-67 win in that exhibition matchup.
The winner of the crossover match will earn a spot in the OCAA Championship which is being hosted by the Georgian Grizzlies beginning on February 28th.
The Knights have the offensive advantage between the two opponents as they finished the regular season averaging 99.45 points per game while their opponents scored 75.5 per game. Loyalist's strong suit, however, is their defensive game as they limited their opponents to just 74.1 points per game.
To break through the Lancers' tough defense, the Knights will look no further than potential OCAA Player of the Year candidate Van Hutchinson Jr. (Bahamas) who averaged the second most points in the OCAA with 25.3 points per game. He also nearly won the rebounding category coming second in the league with 12.9 per game to go along with his league leading 6.9 assists per game.
Jordon McDonald (Mississauga) who has cemented himself as one of the OCAA's top rebounders with his impressive second-half of the season, finished right behind his fellow forward in third place in the OCAA with 11.8 rebounds per game.
Niagara will also look to space out their game to the three-point line and they will be looking to no other than Keveshan Padachey (Markham) who finished sixth in the league with 3.1 three-pointers per game. Fellow guard Alex Elliott (Welland) will be right there with him behind the arc as he averaged 2.0 three-pointers per game. The two averaged 11.9 and 11.4 points per game, respectively.
Loyalist was led by guard Angelo Sarsonas who finished the season with 13.6 points and 4.5 assists per game. Chris Asomani was their top rebounder, finishing his season with 7.4 boards per game.
The Knights and Lancers will square off at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre at 2pm on Saturday, February 23rd. The game will be broadcast live at goknights.ca. Admission is free for Niagara College students with their student cards and is $5 for general admission.