Sports

Niagara men unable to tame Lions due to cold shooting

By Bernd Franke, Postmedia News

Niagara's Tianna Stys, with the ball, being defended by Lambton in women's college basketball Thursday night in Welland.

Niagara's Tianna Stys, with the ball, being defended by Lambton in women's college basketball Thursday night in Welland.

When opportunity knocked, the Niagara Knights had trouble finding the door more often than not.

 

Poor shooting from the free-throw line and from beyond the three-point arc was the difference between winning and losing when Niagara hosted the Lambton Lions hoping to extend a winning streak to five games.

The Knights made just 41 per cent of their foul slots, finishing the game 11-of-27; compared to 70 per cent, 14-of-20; for their visitors from Sarnia in the 100-95 loss Thursday night in Welland.

Niagara was 10-of-37 in three-pointers; Lambton, 14-of-32.

“It was a back-and-forth game and each quarter was very close as neither could pull away from one another,” Mike Hurley said after the first loss of his head coaching career at the collegiate level.

“In the end we shot the ball very poorly from the floor and the foul line.”

Niagara tamed the Lions on defence winning the rebounding battle 49-31, but that wasn’t enough to compensate for problems on offence.

“Lambton seemed to knock down big shot after big shot,” said Hurley, whose Knights fell to 4-1.

Six players scored in double digits for Niagara: Van Hutchinson Jr., 26, Danny Lokole, 18, Levi Mukuna, Jordan Wilson, each with 14, Deysean Thompson, 13, Jordon McDonald, 10.

Hutchinson was the team’s top rebounder with 15. Wilson had 10.

Knights 69, Lions 39

At Welland, St. Catharines native and Holy Cross graduate Tianna Stys recorded a double double, and Niagara defeated Lambton in women’s college basketball.

“It’s great to see the real progress Tia has made over the last year,” Knights head coach Mike Beccaria after the sophomore scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, the first-ever double double of her post-collegiate career.

Rookie Brooke Cesar contributed 12 points and Fonthill native and Notre Dame alum Courtney Kilyk 11 as Niagara, 3-2, won its second in a row.

The Knights, who entered the week sixth in the provincial rankings, jumped out to a 24-6 lead and were up 41-15 at the half before Beccaria turned to his bench.

“We started well tonight, and this is a good sign for a young team such as ours,” he said. “To carry the momentum from the big win against St. Clair on Sunday is really important for us.”

On Sunday Niagara beat St. Clair 82-62, also at the Alumni Centre in Welland.

The Knights travel to Ancaster Wednesday for a doubleheader against the Redeemer Royals. Women’s game is at 6 p.m., with the men taking the court two hours later.

bfranke@postmedia.com

 

 



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