By Nick Suddes
ETOBICOKE, Ont – The No. 6 Humber Hawks men's basketball team (5-0, 1st West) faced off against the No. 10 Redeemer Royals, (4-0, 2nd West) in a matchup of the top two teams in the OCAA West Division, with Humber losing a nail-biter 88-83.
The Humber offence came into this one rolling, scoring more than 100 points in their first five games of the season including a 123 point effort last time out against Sault College. That streak would come to an end in this one, however, as they struggled to knock down jumpers all game, shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and just 16.7 percent from behind the arc.
The Hawks began the game ice cold as they shot just 29.2 percent in the first and 0-for-6 from three. Things could have been much worse if not for Humber's work on the glass, as they picked up nine offensive rebounds in the quarter leading to six second-chance points to keep the Royals lead to just three at the end of the quarter.
Humber would start to see some shots fall in the second quarter but struggled to keep the Royals offence in check as they allowed 27 points in the quarter on 56.3% shooting from the field. Forward Byron Trench helped keep the Hawks close in the first half as he had 14 points at the half with four boards as the Hawks trailed 49-40.
The Hawks starters would begin to heat up to start the second half combining for 13 points in the quarter led by C.J. Bennett's five points, while Kenny Ejim and Curwin Elvis both chipped in four points each. They finished the quarter outscoring Redeemer 20-17 to bring their deficit to six.
Bennett would continue his hot shooting in the final frame as he carried the Humber offence putting up 19 of the teams 23 points in the quarter, twice bringing his team to within one point of tying up the game. The Hawks had a chance to tie the game late down three after Ejim managed to steal the Royals pass off the inbound and kicked it to Bennett who's three failed to drop. The Royals would ice this one at the line after that to hand Humber its first loss of the season.
The Hawks next game will be against the Mohawk Mountaineers (2-4) with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. on Nov. 16 at the Humber North Campus Gym. Catch the game live or on HSN 1.