Friday, January 27th saw one of the most highly anticipated regular season OCAA men's basketball games in recent memory contested, and the Niagara Knights and Sheridan bruins put on a show.
In an exciting, back-and-forth affair, the top-two teams in the OCAA traded body blows until late in the fourth quarter when a series of key possessions proved to be the difference, as the Bruins (9-0) edged out a 105-96 victory.
"We lost a tough game tonight" said Niagara College men's basketball head coach Keith Vassell. "We were not able to get the stops needed to take control of the game. They were the better team, as we had too many turnovers in the 2nd half that directly resulted in points for Sheridan."
The Knights took a 55-54 lead into halftime. Sheridan went on a blistering 15-4 run to open the third quarter that seemed destined to be the difference. A flurry by the Knights to close out the third frame however closed the gap to just two points. Turnovers in the final quarter proved to be the Knights undoing as mistakes lead to a series of easy basket layups for the talented Bruins. Sheridan won the turnover battle 21-12 in the game.
For the second straight game the Knights were led by third year point guard Lequan Hylton (Mississauga). Hylton finished with a game high 23 points while shooting and efficient 57% from the field.
The loss snaps the Knights team record tying nine game winning streak that began on October 29th. The impressive winning streak equals the 1999-2000 Niagara College team that also captured nine straight victories.
The Knights will look to get back into the win column with the team travels to Sault St. Marie for a pair of games on February 4 and 5th. The team will return to the Welland Campus Athletic Centre on January 11th when they host the Lambton Lions at 3:00pm.