By Bobby Mihalik
ETOBICOKE, Ont. – For the second straight year, the Humber Hawks men's basketball team (15-5, 3rd West) came out on top against the St. Lawrence Vikings (10-10, 5th East) in an OCAA crossover game, winning by a margin of 97-68 at North Campus Gym Saturday evening.
The Hawks found themselves fighting to keep themselves from falling behind early as the Vikings took a quick 6-0 lead. Lead by Tom Withey, who made two three-point shots and had ten points in the first quarter; the Vikings held a 20-16 lead entering the second. Byron Trench led the Hawks in the first with four points.
The teams' fortunes changed drastically in the second, however, as the Hawks took complete control. Putting up 25 points in the second quarter, the Hawks erased their deficit and took a 14-point lead into the second half. Scoring by a committee in the second, eight different Hawks contributed on the scoreboard, with three players scoring four points each. The Hawks shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the field in the second and netted 75 percent (3-of-4) of their three-point attempts.
After only scoring seven points through the second quarter, the Vikings got back on track in the third, putting up another 20-point quarter. The Hawks continued to gain momentum, however, scoring 29 points and increasing their lead to 23. DeQuon Cascart and Jordon Francis both had six points for the Hawks in the third, and the team shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the free-throw line.
The Hawks carried their strong play into the fourth quarter, once again outpacing the Vikings and adding six points onto their lead, ultimately winning the game 97-68. Kenny Ejim and Cascart, with seven and six points, respectively, lead the way for Humber in the fourth. The Vikings would shoot perfectly (5-of-5) from the free-throw line in the fourth but could not halt the Hawks.
The Hawks finished the game shooting 47.8 percent (33-of-69) from the field, versus the Vikings' 35.2 percent (25-of-71). The Hawks also recorded 16 steals in the game.
Cascart, who led the Hawks with 17 points and had 11 rebounds for a double-double, was named the Hawks Nation Player of the Game after the victory. Ejim and Trench both had 13 points for the Hawks. Francis, who shot perfectly from both the field (4-of-4) and the free-throw line (4-of-4), finished with 12 points.
Withey led the Vikings with 21 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Sleiddy Joseph of the Vikings also recorded a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds.
- DeQuon Cascart recorded his first career double-double and his 11 rebounds were a career-high.
- Humber's 11 team assists were its lowest total in 19 games.
- The Hawks have shot 70.0 percent or higher from the free throw line in seven straight games, the longest streak in the Patrick Au era.
- Humber has hit four or more 3-pointers in every game this season.
- Nathaniel Nelson has recorded 12 blocks in eight games for Humber.
- Humber improves to 3-2 against St. Lawrence in postseason play.
- All-time, the Hawks are 5-0 in OCAA crossover qualifying games.
- Humber has appeared in the OCAA Championship every season since 1983, a streak spanning 35 years.
No. 10 Humber will head to the 2018 OCAA Final Eight tournament Mar. 1-3, hosted by Niagara College. The Hawks will open the tournament against No. 7 George Brown (18-2, 2nd East) on Mar. 1 and tipoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.