BRAMPTON, Ont – C.J. Bennett's team-high 23 points wasn't enough for the no. 8 Humber Hawks (10-4, 3rd West) as they fell 86-82 to the no. 1 Sheridan Bruins (11-0, 1st West).
Tyrone Dickson recorded his team-best ninth double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 17 rebounds in the loss. Gibson Eduful finished with 15 points including three three-pointers, while Ancil Martin finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The 100th edition of The Game lived up to the pregame hype and featured 15 ties and 15 lead changes as both teams battled for OCAA supremacy in front of a sold out Davis Campus crowd Saturday evening.
The Bruins raced out to an early lead to begin the game before Humber stormed back with a late run. After a buzzer beater from C.J. Bennett, the Hawks led 25-24 after 10 minutes of play.
Similar to the first quarter, the Bruins began the second with an 8-2 run before Humber went on another run of their own. Big baskets from Dickson and Martin during Humber's 12-2 run helped the Hawks retake the lead and head into the break up 42-38.
Both teams shot 40 per cent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of play but it was Humber's efficiency from the charity stripe that helped the Hawks secure the lead. As a team, the Hawks came into the game shooting 66.7 per cent from the free throw line on the season and went into half after converting 9-11.
Humber's perimeter defence, ranked second last in the OCAA, continued to haunt the Hawks in the second half as Brian Owusu hit one of his game-high five three-pointers to help the Bruins retake the lead early on in the second half. The Bruins were in a bonus situation less than six minutes into the third quarter and they took advantage, outscoring Humber 27-18 in the frame. After 30 minutes of play, the Hawks trailed Sheridan 65-60.
The fourth quarter began with defensive blocks from Dickson and Martin, leading to transition baskets that helped Humber tie the game. Curwin Elvis came off the bench and hit two quick baskets as Humber took a 75-73 lead late in the fourth. As time ran down, the Hawks became their own worst enemies after multiple turnovers gave Sheridan a two point lead with a minute left. The Bruins were able to convert their late free throws to cement the victory, winning the 100th edition of The Game, 86-82.
Despite the discrepancy at the free throw line (the Bruins attempted 10 more free throws in the second half than Humber) and the poor perimeter defence, the Hawks can look no further than the season-high 30 turnovers, which would ultimately be their downfall.
Brian Owusu and Ostap Chioly both finished with 23 points for Sheridan in the win.
The Bruins now lead the all-time regular season series 54-46, including their last three meetings.
The Hawks will now have two weeks off before their next OCAA regular season action, when they head to Windsor to finish the season against St. Clair (6-6, 5th West) on February 18 and then the Lambton Lions (3-9, 9th West) on February 19.