Thursday, January 12th wasn't quite a record setting day for the Niagara College Knights (7-1, 2nd OCAA West) men's basketball program, but the team put on a real show, falling just one point shy a setting a team single game scoring record (the single game record is 129 scored way back in 1997). The Knights proved more than worthy of the number five ranking in the CCAA national poll during the dominant 128-109 home court victory over the Mohawk Mountaineers (4-6, 6th OCAA West).
"Today was the most efficient we have been all season" said third year head coach Keith Vassell. "he continued "we shot the ball extremely well. It was a total team performance."
A total team performance it was, as 11 of 13 players dressed found the score sheet and the team shot a red hot 50% from the field, including 57% on two point shots.
Towering six-foot-seven forward Kevin Cooper (Nassau) electrified the crowd early, recording four highlight real drunks in the first half. The big man easily turned in his strongest game of the season, finishing with 17 points. Added coach Vassell "I was pleased to see Kevin finish with such a strong showing."
Not to be outdone, fellow Bahamian Van Hutchinson Jr. (Nassau) was dominant in all facets for Niagara finishing with team highs in points (22), rebounds (11), assists (6), and steals (4). Hutchinson is in his second year of post-secondary eligibility, having spent 2015-16 competing in the U.S. junior college system with Northern Oklahoma Tonkawa. Hutchison is averaging 13.5 points and 8 rebounds per game this season.
The high scoring affair saw the two teams combine for 83 points in the fourth quarter.
Coach Vassell was also quick to commend the strong performances turned in by Femi Akindele (Etobicoke) and Romello Taylor (Toronto). The two GTA-based guards finished with 22 and 16 points respectively.
The Knights will return to action on January 18th when the team hosts the Redeemer Royals (3-5, 7th OCAA West) at 8:00pm at the Welland Athletic centre.