ETOBICOKE, ON: Defence and familiarity were the two main factors that propelled the visiting Regis University Rangers (Denver, Colorado – NCAA Division 2) squad to a 87-68 victory over the host Humber Hawks in a very early pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon at the Humber Athletic Centre.
The Hawks, not only missing their head coach Patrick Au for the first tilt of the season, played primarily with a rookie line-up. Even though with only a couple of practices in their pockets thus far, the Hawks played with a high level of intensity throughout. This effort did not transpire into points, as the offense was not firing, but there were flashes of individual skills along the way.
The first quarter saw Hawks coach Samson Downey rolling the line-up continuously, getting the bench involved early. After a slow start by both teams, which saw neither team get onto the scoreboard after multiple possessions, it was the visiting Rangers that ran out to a lead that they would hold until the first quarter buzzer sounded. At the end of one, it was Rangers 26 and the Hawks 18.
The Rangers made a huge statement early in the second quarter, and turned an 8 point lead into a 19 point lead by the 5 minute mark of the frame. Their ability to transition from defence to offence kept the Hawks off-balance, and freed them up for good ball movement that resulted in both lay-ups and open three-point shots. A positive for the Hawks in the entire half of play was veteran Trevon Mollison, as he did what he has done well in his entire career, and that is to hit the long range jumpers.
As the second quarter played on, it was the Hawks that answered in the back half of the ten-minute period and drew to within 13, forcing Regis to call a timeout. Humber got the lead down to 11, but at the break, Regis continued to lead, now by a score of 52-37.
The halftime break, even though limited to a short 15 minutes, saw Hawks assistant coach Downey prepare the Humber squad for a good start in the second half. Humber cut the lead to 12 points with under 5 to go in the quarter. The big difference was a much better defensive rotation.
The run ultimately was a wake-up call for the Rangers, and they responded as all good teams do. With 2 minutes to go in the session, they pushed out to the biggest lead of the night to date, at 20 points. At the end of three complete, the score was 68-49 for the Regis squad.
Fitness came into play as the game wound down in the fourth and final quarter. The Hawks, just two practices in, were unable to draw any additional energy to bring the game closer. They made a dent in the score early in the frame, but turnovers took its toll on the Humber team. The final score indicated a 19 point win for the visitors, at 87-68.
"The scoreboard may not have been in our favour at the end of the game"' said Hawks coach Samson Downey, "but, given our available prep time and the number of new players vying for a spot on the club, I saw some good things from both an effort and skills perspective".
Five Regis Rangers scored in double figures, led by Dexter Sienko and his 18 point effort. Ty McGee was close behind, with 16. Jarrett Brodbeck, Troy Anderson and Christian Little checked in with 13, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Two rookies led the Hawks. Jaspreet Singh poured in 16 points, while Fowzi Mohamoud supported him, with 15.
Humber will take to the floor once again at the Humber Athletic Centre prior to the start of the semester on Sunday, September 3 at 6:00 pm, against Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon Tartan.