LAVAL, QC – Aiming to finish off the 2018 CCAA National Championships with a win, the No. 11 Humber Hawks men's basketball team met the Lakeland Rustlers in a placement match Saturday afternoon, using dominant second and fourth quarters to claim victory by a score of 100-79.
While the Hawks netted the first points of the game, the Rustlers quickly pulled ahead, scoring eight straight and forcing the Hawks to fight from behind early. With the Rustlers leading by eight, the Hawks used a seven-point streak to pull within one on the scoreboard at 11-10. The Rustlers attempted to add on to the Hawks' deficit, but Curwin Elvis put Humber on top with a layup and added another before the quarters' end, giving the Hawks a 16-13 lead entering the second.
The Rustlers struck first in the second quarter, eager to regain their lost lead, eventually going up 20-18 on a three-point shot. From there, the Hawks completely took over the second quarter, scoring eight straight against the Rustlers and holding a 30-22 lead with five minutes left in the half. Snuffing out any attempts by the Rustlers gain ground on them, the Hawks expanded on their lead, maintaining a 15-point cushion through much of the remainder of the quarter before finishing the first half up 48-29. The Hawks made 47.4 per cent (18-of-38) of their field goals during the first half and went 73.3 per cent (11-of-15) from the free throw line.
Desperate to get back into the game, the Rustlers scored first to begin the second half, outscoring the Hawks 10-4 in the first three minutes to narrow the Hawks' lead. Great offensive play from DeQuon Cascart and Jordan Rose helped the Hawks maintain their hold on the lead, but the Rustlers kept pushing, coming within eight points at 62-54 with two minutes remaining. Cascart took charge for the Hawks again, netting a three-point shot and spurring the Hawks to a 12-point lead to end the third quarter, 72-60.
The Hawks fought off a Rustlers rally early in the fourth to maintain their lead, with Fowzi Mohamoud and Byron Trench applying pressure before a Kenny Ejim three-point shot put the Hawks up by 12 again at 80-68. Returning to their dominant form from the second quarter, the Hawks outpaced the Rustlers through the remainder of the fourth, ahead by 16 with less than three minutes to go. A beautiful three-pointer from Rose put a stop to a last-minute Rustlers charge, and the Hawks held on to win the match 100-79, finishing the tournament with a win.
The Hawks finished the game going 45.9 per cent (34-of-74) from the field and converting on 33.3 per cent (9-of-27) of their three-point attempts. The Rustlers shot 38.3 per cent (31-of-81) from the field and made 31.3 per cent (5-of-16) of their three-point shots.
Cascart, who led the Hawks in scoring with 18 points and had eight rebounds, was named the Player of the Game for the Hawks. Elvis finished with 17 points, while Ejim, with 14 points and 13 rebounds, finished with a double-double.
The Rustlers were led by Terrell Murdaugh, who had a team high 16 points and four rebounds. Prentice Gardner also had 14 points for the Rustlers and a team high two blocks.
With the win, the Hawks finish their season, ending the CCAA tournament in seventh place.